Jeff Lowe is recovering from a medical condition that left him unresponsive in an Oklahoma casino, according to TMZ. The Tiger King star's wife, Lauren, told TMZ that Lowe was not breathing when she found him on March 18 at the WinStar Casino where they were staying. She dialed 911, and when EMTs arrived, they determined that Lowe was suffering a stroke and was then airlifted to a hospital in Denton, Texas. Before Lowe was transferred to the hospital, Lauren said, "I thought he was dying in my arms."
Lauren also told TMZ that she and Lowe suspect that someone slipped something in his drink, putting his life in danger. After the medical staff limited the effects of the stroke, they ran a battery of tests and haven't been able to find the cause of it. Lauren said hours before the stroke, the two were having dinner when a strange man approached them, claiming he knew them and their favorite drinks. Lauren said they had no idea who he was but suspects that he put something in Lowe's drink when a group of Tiger King fans came to get selfies with him.
Lowe is currently at home recovering after spending three days in the hospital. However, Lauren told TMZ he is currently having issues with his coordination and speech. Lowe was the owner of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, which was previously owned by Joe Exotic and featured in Tiger King. However, the zoo closed in August after the U.S. Department of Agriculture suspended Lowe's federal Animal Welfare Act exhibitor's license.
In a (now-deleted) Facebook post, Lowe wrote due to "the permanent closure of the Wynnewood Zoo, I'm forfeiting my USDA exhibitors license. Lowe also wrote that the agency "folded to the pressures of PETA" and has made "false accusations" against him. "Suspiciously, less than 24 hours after I contacted the USDA to voluntarily forfeit my license, they notify me that they are suspending my license for 21 days for a litany of falsehoods," he stated.
On Tuesday, Lowe was scheduled to appear in a Las Vegas courtroom Tuesday. He was convicted in 2018 of illegally using animals to make money in the area, bringing tigers and selling photo ops and sneaking animals into suites on the Las Vegas strip.