A recent court ruling has granted Carole Baskin, the centerpiece of the Netflix docuseries, “Tiger King,” control over nemesis Joe Exotic’s former zoo in Oklahoma.
On Monday, a federal judge granted Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue Corporation control over the G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park in Wynnewood. CNN reports that the decision came after the judge determined that the property was fraudulently transferred to Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage’s (Joe Exotic) mother, Shirley Schreibvogel.
Court records indicate that Maldonado-Passage had the zoo placed in Schreibvogel’s name to avoid paying Baskin a previous trademark judgment.
The judge ordered that the current manager of the Oklahoma zoo must “vacate the Zoo Land premises within 120 days of service of this Order …Vacation of premises shall also require removal of all zoo animals from the Zoo Land.”
In 2011, Baskin sued Maldonado-Passage and won a $1 million infringement lawsuit. In 2016, Baskin filed another lawsuit and argued that Maldonado-Passage transferred the property into his mother’s name in order to avoid paying the lawsuit.
Courthouse News reports that Schreibvogel “admitted under oath that the zoo land was transferred to her by Joe Maldonado to remove it from the reach of creditors, including BCR, should BCR win its Florida lawsuit.”
For years, Baskin and Maldonado-Passage have been in a bitter argument after Baskin criticized her nemesis for the way he handled his animals and property. Maldonado-Passage responded by trying to have a hitman kill Baskin. He’s now serving time in prison for his foiled murder-for-hire plot.
Court records indicate that Maldonado-Passage not only paid $3,000 to have Baskin killed but was also convicted of animal abuse after killing at least five tigers on his former property.
A former employee told CrimeOnline’s Nancy Grace that Maldonado-Passage actually killed many more tigers than he was convicted of; zoo manager Kelci “Saff” Saffery said Joe Exotic killed possibly hundreds of tigers for greed.
Check back for updates.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Here is a related episode.
[Feature Photo: Joe Exotic via AP/Sue Ogrocki, File]