Disappointed to finish Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness on Netflix? Don’t worry, the drama continues: Joe Exotic – aka Joseph Maldonado-Passage – has filed a $ 94 million lawsuit against the government and Jeffrey Lowe, his former trading partner. The former zoo keeper is currently serving 22 years in prison for trying to hire a hitman to assassinate animal rights defender Carole Baskin, as well as for breaking wildlife laws.
The lawsuit, obtained by Rolling Stone, was filed at Grady County Jail in Oklahoma on March 17 and alleges that the US Fish and Wildlife Service placed the “generic” tiger on the endangered list not to protect them. animals, but to target some of the individuals, including Maldonado-Passage, who breed these animals and use them for commercial purposes. This allowed them “to lay charges for putting me in jail and going bankrupt,” he wrote in the lawsuit, “so steal my property and promote an animal rights program.”
In this capacity, he is suing the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Department of the Interior for $ 78,840 million for “18 years of research and care for 200 tigers and cross breeds for 365 days a year”.
He also claims an additional $ 15 million in damages, including “false arrest, false imprisonment, discrimination, malicious prosecution, selective application, misinterpretation of the law and contribution to the death of Shirley Schreibvogel” (his mother).
As for Lowe, a Las Vegas businessman who currently owns the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Wildlife Park, Exotic said he “filed false statements” with federal officials. “He was the main person in this trapping plan to take my zoo for free,” he says. “I changed my medication with illegal drugs, I stole my animals for fraudulent reasons. Destroy my house with all my personal property. Lying down and encouraged government witnesses to lie under oath. When contacted for comment, Lowe’s wife Lauren called the lawsuit “nonsense.”
“We don’t care,” she said. “We were told that a judge would not approve him because of the crimes Joe committed.”
The prosecution also alleges that Exotic is “the only person charged with this status because (he) is an openly gay man with the largest collection of generic tigers and crossbreeds”.
A representative from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Department of Interior did not respond to Rolling Stone’s request for comment.