Oakland Zoo welcomes two tigers after rescue from Oklahoma attraction with ‘Tiger King’ ties

It’s a rescue even Carole Baskin would be proud of.

Four female big cats with significant medical problems arrived Sunday at the Oakland Zoo after being rescued from a defunct, troubled roadside petting zoo in northeastern Oklahoma. Two of them will have a permanent home at the zoo.

The rescue project was funded by the Oakland Zoo, with help from Lions, Tigers and Bears, a San Diego County sanctuary, and the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge of Arkansas.

The Oklahoma zoo where the animals had been housed was reportedly owned by a person with ties to Joe Exotic from the Netflix show “Tiger King,” according to a news release from the Oakland Zoo. The true crime series, which followed an interconnected group of big cat collectors and conservationists, detailed a feud between Baskin, a popular animal activist, and Exotic, aka the Tiger King, over how he treated the animals he owned. Exotic is serving a lengthy prison sentence after being convicted of trying to hire people to murder Baskin.

The rescued animals — the last survivors of the Oklahoma zoo — were a lion and three tigers (including one spokesperson hybrid tiger, the result of crossbreeding with another species), said Oakland Zoo Erin Harrison. All had significant medical concerns.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: