The Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, which was previously owned by Joe Exotic and prominently featured in the hit Netflix docuseries, Tiger King, is under fire as a petition is out to shut the facility down. This movement comes as the zoo is under investigation for abuse after photos of poorly-cared animals surfaced.
The petition calls for the animals to be "relinquished" from the control of Jeff Lowe, who took over after Exotic went to prison. Among the discovered photos, a lion was seen with a bloody infection and missing portions of its ear. Other shots showed lions surrounded by flies, which suggest the condition called flystrike. The creator of the petition said the "sights are not pretty" and that "no animal should have to suffer like this." The call-to-action wants officials to "revoke [Lowe's] exhibitor license for his blatant violations of the Animal Welfare Act for the animals being kept at G.W. Zoo."
At the time of this writing, the petition has garnered over 3,700 signatures. The petition says that if action is taken, there are plenty ready to step in, including Lions Tigers & Bears and the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance, "They need immediate medical attention by a qualified veterinarian, and species-specific diets and habitats - all of which the aforementioned will help facilitate." Bobbi Brink, who runs the Lions, Tigers and Bears non-profit, said that "A lot of what you are seeing is just blatant abuse and not properly caring for these animals." Brink said, "we are not going to give up" in seeking help for the animals at the G.W. Zoo.
Earlier in the year, Netflix stole all the headlines when it released Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness. The show quickly captivated audiences as it followed Exotic and his quirky crew at the G.W. Zoo. His feud with Carol Baskin from Big Cat Rescue was a focal point of the series. Exotic is currently in prison in Fort Worth, Texas, after being sentenced in January to 22 years in prison. With all the success Netflix found in this gem, a follow-up episode that was hosted by Joel McHale was quickly put out to accommodate the roaring success. There is also set to be a TV adaptation in which Nicholas Cage will play the starring role as Exotic. The mega-hit documentary can be streamed on Netflix as well as the extra episode that includes an up-to-date look at everything that transpired after filming.