Court Determines “Tiger King” Park Has Not Followed its Orders

The Oklahoma Eastern District Court ruled on Monday that Tiger King LLC, Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park LLC, Jeffrey Lowe, and Lauren Lowe are in violation of the courts’ January 15th order. This decision followed a motion filed by the United States, the plaintiff, citing aspects of the order which it claimed the defendants had not followed and asking for the order to be enforced. 

The initial lawsuit, which was filed in November 2020, alleged that the defendants’ exotic animal facility, which was featured in the Tiger King Netflix series, breached the Endangered Species Act (ESA) due to inhumane treatment of the animals. The plaintiffs sought for the court to rule that the United States Department of Agriculture can inspect the unlicensed facility and for the government to be given possession of some of the animals. 

In the January order, the court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction and motion for a temporary restraining order. The defendants and those associated with them were ordered to stop exhibiting animals without a license, they were also required to formally hire a veterinarian, account for all animals on their inventory, submit veterinary records and death and birth records, give cats who are less than a year old and their mothers to the United States, and allow regular inspections. 

The United States claimed in its motion filed in February that the Order was not being followed, it asked the court to enforce the order along with a stipulation between the parties. “Despite the government’s attempts over two weeks to assist Defendants in getting into compliance with the Court’s order, the government has received only a few of the records it was entitled to,” the motion said. Additionally, the plaintiff claimed that although the defendants were ordered to not acquire any animals covered by the ESA, inspectors had seen “three dozen female animals housed with male animals” and did not receive confirmation that the animals had been spayed or neutered as requested. 

In response, the court ordered to enforce its previous order and the stipulation, and set a show cause hearing in May where the defendants will be required to show “why they should not be found in contempt” for violating the order. 

The court noted in its opinion and order that the defendants “were given the opportunity to respond” to the motion, but did not dispute any of the assertions claimed by the United States regarding their adherence to the order, so it said the allegations in the February motion “are deemed confessed.”

The United States is represented by the Department of Justice.  The defendants are represented by Daniel Card Law.