'Tiger King': Joe Exotic's Former Zoo Allegedly 'Operating on Fumes' as Attendance Tanks

Netflix found a winner when it released its latest hit show, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness. The first season dropped on March 20 and quickly became a viral sensation, dominating the chatter on social media amid the coronavirus outbreak.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the show's filmmakers, Eric Goode and Rebecca Chalkin, shared an update on everything that has transpired since production wrapped up. Among the various discussion points, one question pertained to how Jeff Lowe, who presides over Joe Exotic's former zoo, is handling everything with all that's going on in the world. From the sounds of it, things aren't going too well at the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma, which currently is selling "Carole Did It" shirts in reference to one of the crimes seen in the documentary. Goode explained the situation by revealing that it's "operating on fumes."

"I got a very long text today from Jeff Lowe, who is running Joe’s old zoo," Goode shared in the interview. "All I can tell you is that he is basically operating on fumes. 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 added that he is not sure what is going to happen to the animals there. Goode noted that "due to the coronavirus, no one's going," and that may mean that "at some point" Lowe may need to put down some animals to keep the rest alive.

"And it's anyone's guess as to what's going to happen to them," he continued. "Some will be placed but I would suspect a lot of them will die from starvation, and probably be put down. 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."

In a since-been-deleted Facebook post, Lowe actually commented on the fanfare that has come with the Netflix documentary. He felt there was "a little sensationalism here and there" but that it was overall a "good job."

He also thanked everyone in involved in taking down the "monster" in reference to Joe Exotic.


"No zoo we ever build will have the positive impact of taking out the nation's largest tiger cub traffickers," he wrote. "Thank you all for your continued support. Lauren and I are forging on, everyday to complete a new facility that can provide out animals with more space, far away from 'The Curse of Joe Exotic.'"

Photo Credit: Netflix