'Tiger King's Jeff Lowe Sued by State of Oklahoma for $50,000 in Back Taxes

Tiger King star Jeff Lowe is being sued. The state of Oklahoma is after the docuseries subject for failing to pay thousands of dollars in taxes as the head of the G.W. Exotic Animal Park. According to a petition filed in Garvin County, Oklahoma Wednesday obtained by PETA, Lowe owes $50,274 in taxes toward the state.

"Jeff Lowe is responsible for withholding, collecting, and remitting taxes owed by the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, LLC to the State of Oklahoma," according to the document. "Moreover, Jeff Lowe had, and continues to have, direct control, supervision, and responsibility for filing returns and making payments on behalf" of the park to the state.

The petition notes that the final amount owed could change once all of the park's delinquent returns are filed. Tax warrants were served to Lowe in December, when the animal park owed $47,892.91 and that Lowe owed $47,928.91, for taxes, interest, penalties and other fees from 2016. On May 1, when the park applied to renew its sales tax permit, it was denied due to the nonpayment of the tax and penalty, the petition noted.

Until the money is paid, the park was ordered to "cease and desist all business operations," with the addendum that any person engaging in business without a proper permit could be charged with a misdemeanor. Lowe took control of the G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma after things began to go downhill for its former owner, Joe Exotic, as seen in Tiger King. On June 2, however, a judge granted control of the zoo over to Carole Baskin, Joe's nemesis whom he was convicted of hiring someone to kill. Lowe has been given 120 days to vacate the premises with all the animals currently residing there.

Director Eric Goode told Entertainment Weekly in March that the zoo under Lowe's was still open, but "basically operating on fumes." He continued, "No one is going now and there's no source of income, and that's been going on for a long time. It's not something that has just happened because of what's happening in the world today."


He said that it's "anyone's guess" as to what will happen to the animals living there, saying that he suspects "a lot of them will die from starvation, and probably be put down." Goode added, "And this is probably true for a lot of operations around the country right now that keep exotic animals, and even big zoos are struggling right now to keep their animals."