If you have followed the Netflix series, Tiger King, then you would know that Ms. Baskin, an animal rights activist and Joseph Maldonado-Passage, have been stuck in a legal battle for more than seven years now.
Carole Baskin sued Joseph for having a roadside zoo which she describes as exploitative and cruel for the big cats. The case took such a toll that in 2019, Mr. Maldonado-Passage was arrested in an attempt to murder charge against Ms. Baskin.
Source: The New York Times
However, there is a new twist in the story. On Monday, a federal court judge in Oklahoma said that Mr. Baskin’s organization Big Cat Rescue Corporation can take over the 16.4-acre property in Wynnewood, once known as G.W Exotic.
“The G.W.D.G. shall vacate the premises of the zoo land within 120 days of the date of service of this order,” Judge Palk of the Western District of Oklahoma federal court ruled. “Vacation of premises shall also require removal of all zoo animals from the zoo land.
The decision comes as a breakthrough in the seven-year-old case.
The Netflix documentary showed these dynamics between the two parties and how each of them filed suit after suit since 2013.
On Monday, Judge Palk stated that the property was “fraudulently transferred” by Mr. Maldonado-Passage’s mother and so it cannot withhold in court.
The only thing that is unclear right now is that what would happen to the animals?
Big Cat Rescue posted a statement on its website saying, “We don’t know if Big Cat Rescue will ever be able to open for tours again. We have lost one-third of our income and have had to let go of 10 of our 20 staff and contractors.”
“The judge’s decision finally brings down the curtain on the cruel operation known as G.W. Exotic,” said Kitty Block, president, and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States. “It is justice for Carole Baskin and accredited sanctuaries that put animal welfare first.”