The G.W. Exotic Animal Park, now called Tiger King Park, reopened this past weekend after Oklahoma lifted its coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions

By Eric Todisco
May 06, 2020 03:01 PM
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The impact of Netflix's hit documentary series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness continues to be evident nearly two months after its release.

The G.W. Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, which was heavily documented in the Netflix series and formerly owned by Joseph "Joe Exotic" Maldonado-Passage, has been closed for the past several weeks due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But after Oklahoma lifted its stay-at-home restrictions over the weekend, hundreds of people flocked to the zoo, now called Tiger King Park.

Photos obtained by the Daily Mail show dozens of people waiting in line to enter the zoo. The majority of visitors were not wearing masks and were clearly breaking social distance recommendations.

Additional photos showed adults and children alike gathering in large crowds to watch the park's caged tigers and lions.

Joe Exotic
Steve Sisney/The Oklahoman/Imagn/USA Today Network/Sipa

The Tiger King Park is currently owned by Jeff Lowe, who took ownership after Joe Exotic went to jail for plotting the murder of rival Carole Baskin.

Lowe and his wife Lauren greeted guests during the park's reopening, according to the Daily Mail. Head zookeeper Erik Cowie and Allen Glover, whom Joe hired to kill Baskin (he did not do so), were also reportedly present for the reopening.

Netflix

The park's reopening over the weekend came as Baskin, 58, was tricked by British YouTubers Josh Pieters and Archie Manners into doing her first video interview since the Tiger King came out.

Baskin was under the impression she was interviewing with Jimmy Fallon and his late-night show, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Pieters and Manners used old sound bites from the late-night show to conduct the interview.

After rejecting their proposal twice, Baskin agreed to the interview on the condition that she would not be asked about the Netflix docu-series, which she has repeatedly criticized for spreading misinformation.

Baskin shared during the interview how she and her family — including husband Howard — have been spending their time during the coronavirus pandemic, which has impacted her animal sanctuary Big Cat Rescue.

"We are working every day with the cats at the sanctuary," Baskin said. "My daughter and I still come into the sanctuary every day because we have to take care of all of the big cats here."

Baskin said the sanctuary currently looks after "55 exotic cats," — and she revealed that her sanctuary tours may come to an end due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED VIDEO: Inside Tiger King Joe Exotic’s Obsession with Carole Baskin: ‘It’s the Worst Kind of Love Story’

Variety reported Monday that Joe Exotic, who continues to serve his 22-year jail sentence, will be portrayed by Nicolas Cage for an upcoming eight-episode scripted series.

The show is reportedly based on the Texas Monthly article "Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild," by Leif Reigstad. It will follow Joe Exotic as he fights to keep his Oklahoma zoo open — even at the risk of his own sanity.

Baskin, meanwhile, is set to be played by Kate McKinnon in Universal Content Productions' adaption of the Wondery podcast Joe Exotic.

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