It was only a matter of time before another Tiger King & Joe Exotic zoo animal welfare investigation took place. The Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma—which was formerly owned by the Netflix docuseries star—has been the source of endless controversy ever since Tiger King aired. Now, animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are putting a spotlight on the controversy, inciting two separate government agencies to investigate the matter.
According to a recent statement by PETA, the tigers at the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park are suffering from a severe “flystrike,” a condition in which “flies, usually drawn to animal waste, bite other animals and lay eggs on them and the hatched maggots feed on their skin—or biting flies feed on an animal’s blood and inflict relentless pain and discomfort.” The disturbing observation was coupled with photos and video footage of young lions with visible skin irritation and injuries.
The non-profit allegedly obtained the proof from “a concerned citizen,” and has since had veterinarians confirm that the conditions are causing serious damage to the juvenile tigers. PETA requested that “the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confiscate these animals found to be suffering terribly and to revoke Lowe’s license to exhibit them,” referencing Jeff Lowe, the man who acquired Joe Exotic’s zoo after the Tiger King star was imprisoned and found guilty of transporting exotic animals and killing five tiger cubs, among other offenses.
Oklahoma’s Department of Wildlife has reportedly been informed of the park’s conditions, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). A statement by Garvin County Sheriff’s Office revealed that both organizations have since visited the park to investigate, and the animals are “receiving veterinarian care in isolation and are being monitored by USDA.” The sheriff’s office has also reportedly requested the aid of other agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Let’s just hope that these tigers can get the help they need without being exploited any further.
Tiger King season one is available to stream on Netflix.