A Judge Just Gave Carole Baskin Control Of Joe Exotic's Old Zoo

by Christina Marfice
A Judge Just Gave Carole Baskin Control Of Joe Exotic's Old Zoo

Carole Baskin now owns Joe Exotic’s zoo, and we’re going to need Netflix to give us a follow-up on this

A fairly significant part of Netflix’s Tiger King docuseries (which we know you watched, because everyone watched it) revolved around a trademark infringement lawsuit between the Tiger King himself, Joe Exotic, and his sworn nemesis, Carole Baskin. Well, finally, two years after that lawsuit was filed, it’s been resolved — and fans of the King aren’t going to like how it shook out.

A federal judge in Oklahoma has officially ordered that Joe Exotic’s former zoo in Wynnewood now belongs to Baskin. Yes, that’s right. We’ll let that information sink in for a moment. Oh, and Netflix, if you could get us a follow-up episode or two about this major plot twist, that would be great.

Now, this doesn’t mean that Baskin gets to just take over Joe’s zoo as-is. The judge actually evicted Joe, Jeff Lowe, and all the animals currently house on the Wynnewood property to vacate within 120 days. Then, the property will be handed over to Baskin, who still owns her wildlife sanctuary in Florida. We have no idea yet what she’ll do with the Oklahoma property, but seeing as it’s already set up to house big cats, we wouldn’t be surprised at all if she filled it with more wild animals.

If you don’t remember the lawsuit from Tiger King (which, fair, because it was arguably one of the least insane things to happen on that show), let us refresh your memory: Joe Exotic created merchandise, signs, and a touring company using logos and images that were nearly identical to the ones Baskin used for her Florida-based Big Cat Rescue operation. She sued him for trademark infringement, and in 2013 (while the docuseries was still being filmed), he was ordered to pay her nearly $1 million in damages.

In an attempt to save his zoo after the ruling, Joe transferred ownership to Jeff Lowe, which kicked off a whole other series of insane events. But now, a judge has ruled that that property transfer was fraudulent, and Baskin is entitled to the zoo property as part of her settlement. Whew. What a ride.

Baskin has not yet spoken publicly about the ruling, and we kind of doubt she will. She was apparently not happy with how she was portrayed in Tiger King (who can blame her?) and has refused to participate in updates to the show since it aired.