Carole Baskin is taking over Joe Exotic’s former zoo in Wynnewood, Oklahoma.
Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue Corp. was granted ownership and control of the zoo as part of a trademark judgement against Exotic, the park’s former owner, according to multiple reports.
The years-long contentious legal battle between Baskin and Exotic — whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage — was the subject of the megahit Netflix documentary Tiger King. The latest development comes nearly seven years after Exotic was first ordered to pay Baskin $1 million for trademark infringement.
According to Courthouse News, U.S. District Judge Scott L. Palk in Oklahoma City ruled on Monday that Big Cat Rescue had successfully proven that Exotic had fraudulently transferred the zoo to his mother, Shirley M. Schreibvogel, in 2011, in an attempt to avoid losing the properties to creditors amid his ongoing lawsuits with Baskin.
As part of the latest ruling, Baskin has been awarded the 16,439-acre property which, for several years, has been operated and run by Exotic’s former business partner-turned-enemy Jeff Lowe. The current occupants have 120 days to vacate the land — including all animals currently living there.
Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue was also granted ownership of several additional cabins and multiple vehicles on the property as well.
Currently, Exotic is behind bars serving a 22-year prison sentence after he was convicted on multiple charges — including two charges of murder-for-hire, related to his attempts to pay a man to kill Baskin.
He also convicted of additional charges related to animal cruelty, including the killing of five tigers on his property.