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Hundreds flock to Joe Exotic’s zoo for its reopening, finally cashing in on Netflix fame

Hundreds of fans were seen flocking to the zoo once owned by Joe Exotic over the weekend, which has aptly been renamed Tiger King Park, as the zoo can finally cash in on its Netflix fame, exclusive photos by DailyMail.com show. 

Dozens stood in line as they waited their turn to enter inside the infamous zoo located in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, and formerly named G.W. Exotic Animal Park. 

The zoo has been closed since Oklahoma issued restrictions due to the coronavirus, but over the weekend it was allowed to reopen using CDC recommended social distancing and sanitation protocols. 

However, once inside, throngs of people ignored social distancing rules as they went without face masks and clamored to get an up close look at the park’s tigers and lions.

Adults and children alike were seen sitting shoulder-to-shoulder as they waited their turn to pet tiger cubs. 

The zoo rose to fame due to the hit Netflix docuseries that focused on its eccentric owner Joe Exotic, who was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison for hiring a hit-man to kill his arch nemesis Carole Baskin and for more than a dozen wildlife violations, including killing five tigers. 

Now it’s under ownership by Joe’s former business partner Jeff Lowe and his wife Lauren, who were seen greeting guests over the weekend, as fans also got to meet head zookeeper Erik Cowie and Allen Glover, who was ‘hired’ by Joe to kill Baskin. 

Hundreds of fans were seen flocking to the zoo once owned by Joe Exotic over the weekend, which has aptly been renamed Tiger King Park, as the zoo can finally cash in on its Netflix fame, exclusive photos by DailyMail.com show 

Dozens waited in line as they waited their turn to enter inside the infamous zoo located in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, and formerly named G.W. Exotic Animal Park

Dozens waited in line as they waited their turn to enter inside the infamous zoo located in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, and formerly named G.W. Exotic Animal Park 

The zoo has been closed since Oklahoma issued restrictions due to the coronavirus, but over the weekend it was allowed to reopen using CDC recommended social distancing and sanitation protocols

The zoo has been closed since Oklahoma issued restrictions due to the coronavirus, but over the weekend it was allowed to reopen using CDC recommended social distancing and sanitation protocols 

Adults and children alike were seen sitting shoulder-to-shoulder as they waited their turn to pet tiger cubs

Adults and children alike were seen sitting shoulder-to-shoulder as they waited their turn to pet tiger cubs

However, once inside, throngs of people ignored social distancing rules as they went without face masks and clamored to get an up close look at the park's tigers and lions

However, once inside, throngs of people ignored social distancing rules as they went without face masks and clamored to get an up close look at the park’s tigers and lions

The zoo rose to fame due to the hit Netflix docuseries focused on its eccentric owner Joe Exotic

The zoo rose to fame due to the hit Netflix docuseries focused on its eccentric owner Joe Exotic

Joe Exotic was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison for hiring a hit-man to kill his arch nemesis Carole Baskin and for more than a dozen wildlife violations, including killing five tigers

Joe Exotic was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison for hiring a hit-man to kill his arch nemesis Carole Baskin and for more than a dozen wildlife violations, including killing five tigers

In a previous interview with DailyMail.com, Glover said he only took the $3,000 that Joe paid him to kill Baskin to escape Oklahoma and get away from Joe, who he ‘hated’. 

He said: ‘I never had any intention of harming Carole, let alone kill her. 

‘I was working for Joe at the time and I just couldn’t stand being around Joe anymore and I wanted to get out of there and go back to South Carolina. But I didn’t have any money to leave, I was only making $150/week.’ 

‘My only plan the entire time was to drain every dime I could get from Joe, I hated that guy,’ Glover laughed.

Glover later testified against Joe at trial, where Joe was found sentenced to 22 years in prison for the plot to kill Baskin, as well as numerous animal violations, including five tigers. 

Glover said he doesn’t believe Joe will last long in prison saying: ‘He’s not going to ever set foot alive outside of prison again, he won’t do his full sentence, I give him five years at most before he’s dead.’     

Glover added: ‘He knows he’s never getting out and that sets the course for depression, I wouldn’t be surprised if he even makes it out of medical where he is currently being housed. 

He continued: ‘I should know the mindset it takes to survive, I’ve spent a long time in prison, and Joe doesn’t have what it takes.’ 

Now it's under ownership by Joe's former business partner Jeff Lowe and his wife Lauren (pictured together), who was seen greeting guests over the weekend

Now it’s under ownership by Joe’s former business partner Jeff Lowe and his wife Lauren (pictured together), who was seen greeting guests over the weekend

Fans also got to meet head zookeeper Erik Cowie (pictured), who was showing guests around the zoo

Fans also got to meet head zookeeper Erik Cowie (pictured), who was showing guests around the zoo

Pictured: Fans of the Netflix's Tiger King pose with Erik Cowie (fourth from left), Jeff Lowe and his wife Lauren (together second and third from right)

Pictured: Fans of the Netflix’s Tiger King pose with Erik Cowie (fourth from left), Jeff Lowe and his wife Lauren (together second and third from right) 

Carole Baskin

Allen Glover, 51, was hired by the flamboyant former owner of GW Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma to murder Big Cat Animal Rescue owner Baskin in exchange for $3,000 in 2017. But he claimed: 'I never had any intention of harming Carole, let alone kill her

Allen Glover, 51, (right) is still working at the zoo. He was hired by the flamboyant former owner of GW Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma to murder Big Cat Animal Rescue owner Carole Baskin (left) in exchange for $3,000 in 2017. Glover previously told DailyMail.com: ‘I never had any intention of harming Carole, let alone kill her’

People ignore social distancing and sit shoulder-to-shoulder to pet tiger cubs at the zoo

People ignore social distancing and sit shoulder-to-shoulder to pet tiger cubs at the zoo 

Although social distancing is still in place and the CDC recommends people to stay six feet apart and wear face masks, few were following the rules at the infamous zoo over the weekend

Although social distancing is still in place and the CDC recommends people to stay six feet apart and wear face masks, few were following the rules at the infamous zoo over the weekend 

Head zookeeper Erik Cowie, 51, who was also featured in the docuseries, was seen showing off tiger cubs to zoo-goers over the weekend. He previously told DailyMail.com that his former boss Joe Exotic would hit tiger cubs if they misbehaved and claimed Joe was afraid of most of his big cats

Head zookeeper Erik Cowie, 51, who was also featured in the docuseries, was seen showing off tiger cubs to zoo-goers over the weekend. He previously told DailyMail.com that his former boss Joe Exotic would hit tiger cubs if they misbehaved and claimed Joe was afraid of most of his big cats

Head zookeeper Erik Cowie, 51, who was also featured in the docuseries, was seen showing off tiger cubs to zoo-goers over the weekend. He previously told DailyMail.com that his former boss Joe Exotic would hit tiger cubs if they misbehaved and claimed Joe was afraid of most of his big cats. 

Cowie said most of the animals hated Joe so much that ‘several of the big cats would have eaten him alive if given the chance.’ 

He said: ‘Joe would often brag about being in a cage with 16 tigers, but in reality it was more like two or three of them. I would take the mean ones out of the cage, the cats who didn’t like him.

‘There was a liger and we used to use Joe as bait in order to get her out of its cage, this big cat would try to attack Joe every time she saw him.’ A liger is a cross breed of a female tiger and a male lion.    

Cowie also claimed that Joe had killed more than 100 tigers, once killing five tigers in a day to board other animals at the zoo. 

New zoo owner Jeff Lowe previously told DailyMail.com that Netflix only showed one percent of Joe’s crimes and shady business deals in the popular docuseries. 

‘In just the few years that we knew him, we witnessed so many horrendous things that he did to people and businesses, nobody around here would take his checks because he bounced them on everybody,’ Lowe said.

Lowe claims Joe was only convicted of a fraction of the crimes he committed while operating the zoo, going further to allege he got entangled in the whole scandal when Joe conned him into investing in his zoo by claiming he was HIV positive and only had a few years left to live.  

Lowe said he met Joe for the first time in 2015 when he flew him and his then husband Travis Maldonado to Colorado because Lowe was interested in buying a zoo in Callahan, Colorado.

Cowie said most of t he animals hated Joe so much that 'several of the big cats would have eaten him alive if given the chance'

Cowie said most of t he animals hated Joe so much that ‘several of the big cats would have eaten him alive if given the chance’

Cowie also claimed that Joe had killed more than 100 tigers, once killing five tigers in a day to board other animals at the zoo

Zoo-goers over the weekend

Cowie also claimed that Joe had killed more than 100 tigers, once killing five tigers in a day to board other animals at the zoo

New zoo owner Jeff Lowe previously told DailyMail.com that Netflix only showed one percent of Joe's crimes and shady business deals in the popular docuseries

New zoo owner Jeff Lowe previously told DailyMail.com that Netflix only showed one percent of Joe’s crimes and shady business deals in the popular docuseries

'In just the few years that we knew him, we witnessed so many horrendous things that he did to people and businesses, nobody around here would take his checks because he bounced them on everybody,' Lowe said

‘In just the few years that we knew him, we witnessed so many horrendous things that he did to people and businesses, nobody around here would take his checks because he bounced them on everybody,’ Lowe said

People pet tiger cubs at the newly renamed Tiger King Park, with guests sitting shoulder to shoulder

People pet tiger cubs at the newly renamed Tiger King Park, with guests sitting shoulder to shoulder 

Lowe claims he got entangled in the whole scandal when Joe conned him into investing in his zoo by claiming he was HIV positive and only had a few years left to live

Lowe claims he got entangled in the whole scandal when Joe conned him into investing in his zoo by claiming he was HIV positive and only had a few years left to live

Lowe said he met Joe for the first time in 2015 when he flew him and his then husband Travis Maldonado to Colorado because Lowe was interested in buying a zoo in Callahan, Colorado

Lowe said he met Joe for the first time in 2015 when he flew him and his then husband Travis Maldonado to Colorado because Lowe was interested in buying a zoo in Callahan, Colorado

‘Joe wanted to come out to Colorado to give me his professional opinion because he thought he was the gift of all the zoos, he was going to tell us what had to be changed in order to bring the zoo back to USDA compliance,’ Lowe said.

While out in Colorado Joe made his pitch for the Lowes to buy his zoo. That’s when Joe told the couple he was dying.

Joe allegedly told Lowe because of his HIV diagnosis, he had only two years to live and he needed someone who loved animals and had the financial wherewithal to continue to run the park after he died.

‘He presented me these pictures of himself on his phone with his face all swelled up and his lips all purple. Joe told me at that time the was HIV positive,’ Lowe said.

‘Joe told us he had a $5 million life insurance policy and he was going to put us down as a 50 percent beneficiary so we would have money to take care of the animals, with his husband Travis getting the other 50 percent.’ 

Just days after Joe flew back to Oklahoma, he was blowing up Lowe’s phone with pictures of his life insurance policies as proof he wasn’t lying. 

Lowe said: ‘He basically begged us to come out there to help him save it.’

Later Lowe found out most of the policies had been cancelled for non-payment or Joe had already cashed them out. 

Lowe added: ‘Joe not only told us he was HIV positive on several occasions, but told several other people. He used it to his advantage so he could scam something out of them, if it wasn’t HIV, it was cancer.’

Lowe scoffed at the recent $94 million civil lawsuit Joe Exotic against him and several others, saying: 'This is typical Joe always blaming someone else for his own actions, nothing was ever his fault. Joe ended up where he deserves to be, in prison'

Lowe scoffed at the recent $94 million civil lawsuit Joe Exotic against him and several others, saying: ‘This is typical Joe always blaming someone else for his own actions, nothing was ever his fault. Joe ended up where he deserves to be, in prison’

Meanwhile, Lowe claims Joe was embezzling from the both the zoo and his parents, and using the money to pay male prostitutes he would meet on Craigslist

Meanwhile, Lowe claims Joe was embezzling from the both the zoo and his parents, and using the money to pay male prostitutes he would meet on Craigslist

Lowe believes Joe was guilty of all of the charges, especially killing the five tigers he was convicted on

Lowe believes Joe was guilty of all of the charges, especially killing the five tigers he was convicted on

He added: 'Netflix wanted you to believe that I stole the zoo from Joe and Joe wants you to believe it as well, [but] he begged me to buy it. He wanted me to bail his a** out of trouble'

He added: ‘Netflix wanted you to believe that I stole the zoo from Joe and Joe wants you to believe it as well, [but] he begged me to buy it. He wanted me to bail his a** out of trouble’

Jeff Lowe's wife Lauren talks to zoo guests over the weekend in Wynnewood, Oklahoma

 Jeff Lowe’s wife Lauren talks to zoo guests over the weekend in Wynnewood, Oklahoma 

One of the more shocking details Lowe claims that he learned there could be dead bodies buried on the property (pictured)

One of the more shocking details Lowe claims that he learned there could be dead bodies buried on the property (pictured)

In reality, Lowe said he found out Joe did have an auto immune disease called CVID, it’s not transmitted sexually like HIV, but mimics the genetic code of HIV. 

Whenever Joe had to go to the hospital or to the doctors for treatment for his CVID, he said it was either cancer, HIV or something else, Lowe said.

He added: ‘I mean he used that as a crutch whenever times were tough and he’d get out of line, he’d say, ”I’ve got this cancer, I have this auto immune deficiency you know, and I can’t pay the bills”.’

Meanwhile, Lowe claims Joe was embezzling from the both the zoo and his parents, and using the money to pay male prostitutes he would meet on Craigslist. 

On one occasion Lowe said he saw one guy wandering around who told Lowe: ‘I’m not leaving until I get my money, Joe promised me $400.’

Lowe said he also found several thumb drives containing pictures and videos of Joe and his then-husband John Finlay dressed up in trashy lingerie, hanging from sex swings.

Lowe believes Joe was guilty of all of the charges, especially killing the five tigers he was convicted on. 

He added: ‘Netflix wanted you to believe that I stole the zoo from Joe and Joe wants you to believe it as well, [but] he begged me to buy it. He wanted me to bail his a** out of trouble.’  

Lowe scoffs at the recent $94 million civil lawsuit Joe Exotic against him and several others, saying: ‘This is typical Joe always blaming someone else for his own actions, nothing was ever his fault. Joe ended up where he deserves to be, in prison.’  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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