The Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park is no more. The Tiger King zoo closed after its license was suspended for multiple animal welfare violations, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, which is located in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, announced on its Facebook on Tuesday, August 18, that it will close to the public “effective immediately” after its federal animal exhibition license was suspended.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture also confirmed that it suspended the exhibitor license multiple animal welfare violations, including several repeat violations. According to a report from a USDA inspection, investigators found that the only refrigerated storage for animal food was a broken refrigerator truck that zoo officials claimed had been fixed. “The inspectors asked for the invoices for the repairs and were handed an invoice for a tractor repair,” the report reads, according to CNN.
In its Facebook post, the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park announced that the park will now be used as a private film set for Tiger King-related content. “Our new park will, at least for the foreseeable future, be a private film set for Tiger King related television content for cable and streaming services,” the post read.
The Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park became well-known in pop culture after the release of Netflix’s Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness in April, which told the story of the rise and fall of Joseph Maldonado-Passage, a.k.a. Joe Exotic, the previous owner of the zoo who sold the park to its current owner, Jeffrey Lowe. In its Facebook post, the park also claimed that it had been targeted by several animal rights groups, including PETA. “The very agency that has given my facility five consecutive perfect inspections, has now folded to the pressures of PETA and continue to make false accusations against me,” the post read. “Losing the park to the public will mean the animals are “no longer be subject to USDA inspections or PETA spies.
In a statement to CNN, Brittany Peet, PETA Foundation’s deputy general counsel for captive animal law enforcement, said that the next step for the organization will be permanently revoke Lowe’s license. “PETA looks forward to seeing every one of the long-suffering animals at the G.W. Zoo be transferred to an appropriate facility,” the statement read.
Read the full Facebook post from the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park below.
“The Tiger King phenomenon has definitely changed our lives in many ways. It has brought us more attention than any
human deserves, good and bad. It has, and probably will continue to make us a target of every nutjob and animal rights loon in the World, but we are prepared.
It has also provided us with an unfathomable source of income. Income that will guarantee the long term care of our animals and allow us to be very selective going forward.
As of today, we have decided to close the old zoo effective immediately.
Do the the permanent closure of the Wynnewood Zoo, I’m forfeiting my USDA exhibitors license.
The very agency that has given my facility five consecutive perfect inspections, has now folded to the pressures of PETA and continue to make false accusations against me.
Suspiciously, less than 24 hours after I contacted the USDA to voluntarily forfeit my license, they notify me that they are suspending my license for 21 days for a litany of falsehoods.
In the State of Oklahoma, exotic animal ownership is perfectly legal.
Rest assured that all the animals will continue to have excellent care, and consequently will no longer be subject to USDA inspections or PETA spies.
Our new park will, at least for the foreseeable future, be a private film set for Tiger King related television content for cable and streaming services.
This was in fact a decision that we made more than a month ago and was the huge news that we spoke about on Facebook a couple weeks ago.
So, thanks to all the people who have visited the Wynnewood Zoo over the years! We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.
Effective immediately, we are closed to the public!”