Carole Baskin’s longtime feud with Joe Exotic, both of whom starred in Netflix’s docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness, has entered a new chapter now that she’s officially been awarded his zoo properties by an Oklahoma judge.
Baskin's Big Cat Rescue Corporation had already won in a long-running lawsuit against Joe Exotic’s Greater Wynnewood Development Group, which then turned into a fight over how the judgment should be paid. According to court documents, a judge on Monday found that reality star Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, fraudulently transferred his properties to his mother, Shirley M. Schreibvogel, to avoid paying Baskin $1 million that had been ordered.
Now, Baskin is now in control of about 16 acres of land that houses a number of big cats, an animal park, and several cars and cabins that formerly belonged to Maldonado-Passage. The current zoo operator tenant has 120 days to leave and remove the animals.
Big Cat Rescue, Baskin’s organization, posted a statement on its website saying the current tenant announced plans to move the animals to another location in Oklahoma “that he claims will be a better facility.” But Baskin's organization has also offered to help find the animals new homes, the statement said.
“If the need arises to make other plans to place the animals in new homes, Big Cat Rescue and the animal welfare organizations that have previously successfully placed big cats from large facilities in new homes stand ready to assist.”
Baskin didn’t return BuzzFeed News’ request for comment. Big Cat Rescue posted the court documents on its website, “which speak for themselves,” it said. “We are not posting any further comments at this time.”
Maldonado-Passage remains in federal custody after he was sentenced 22 years in prison for a murder-for-hire plot against Baskin, in addition to 17 other wildlife charges.
The pair's tangled history helped make Tiger King a massive success when it first started streaming on Netflix back in March. According to Nielsen ratings, the seven-episode docuseries was viewed by 34.3 million people in the first 10 days of its release. The Netflix series also inspired millions of memes and jokes on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, and Nicholas Cage is now set to star as Joe Exotic in an upcoming scripted series.
When the real-life Joe Exotic was interviewed by Netflix in prison earlier this year, he said he wanted people to know, “I'm done with the Carole Baskin saga.”
In spite of a recording that documented Exotic putting a hit on Baskin with an undercover FBI agent, the former zookeeper also maintained that he is innocent.
“It's now time to turn the tables and Joe get out of jail a free man and exonerated from all these charges,” he said.