CLEVELAND, Ohio — Hey all you cool cats and kittens, how’s this for a twist ending to “Tiger King”?
No, Don Lewis still hasn’t been found. But his former wife Carole Baskin was awarded control of her bitter rival Joe Exotic’s zoo in Oklahoma by a federal judge Monday.
The scoop comes from Courthouse News Service, which reports the U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City ruled the star of the Netflix docuseries, whose real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, fraudulently transferred the title to the zoo to his mother to avoid paying Baskin the $1 million judgement she won in a trademark infringement suit against him.
Exotic is currently serving 22 years in prison for hatching a plot to murder Baskin and 17 wildlife charges. Jeff Lowe, who winds up running the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park by the end of “Tiger King,” now has 120 days to surrender the zoo and remove all the animals from the property.
Baskin is operator of Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida. “Tiger King,” one of the most-watched shows in Netflix history, chronicles the longstanding feud between the two zoos and their eccentric owners.