Joe Exotic’s old zoo is closed again

Over the course of this dastardly pandemic, Oklahoma became irritatingly famous for such notorious news items as Governor Stitt getting Coronavirus from that large super-spreader convention headlined by Trump. But we also had things to be ignobly proud of, like the legend of Joe Exotic finally reaching the holed-up masses of a sickly America.

And, I’m sure like most Americans that watched the potboiler of a miniseries, we couldn’t wait for this virus to be eradicated if only so we could take our friends, family and tiger food rich husbands to Oklahoma’s newest star-attraction.

But then the unthinkable occurred…

Trending at number one on Twitter yesterday, it was announced by current Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park owner and Kong’s enthusiast Jeff Lowe that the park made famous by Exotic has been shut down to the public—possibly forever—due to those animal-protecting bastards at the USDA, suspending Lowe’s exhibitor license.

“Rest assured that all the animals will continue to have excellent care, and consequently will no longer be subject to USDA inspections or PETA spies,” Lowe said. “Our new park will, at least for the foreseeable future, be a private film set for Tiger King related television content for cable and streaming services.”

Goodbye GW Exotic Animal Park, we hardly knew ye. At least I hardly knew ye.

Though constantly at animalistic war with groups like PETA—not to mention that bitch Carole Baskin!—whose constant angry press releases might have given many decent people the chance to pause and recognize what they’re giving their money to, for years I tinkered with the idea of heading down to the area, paying the exorbitant entry fee and scoring a picture with a baby tiger.

Of course, those were merely the wet dreams of a man who hadn’t seen Tiger King on Netflix yet and all the controversy behind the zoo was still years away. But, still, how great would it have been to nuzzle shirtless with a baby tiger, only a cowboy hat and some tight jockey shorts between us as a strangely feline-related country song plays in the background?

And, as someone that has eaten out of the trashcan multiple time in my impoverished life, how wonderful would it have been to be invited to Exotic’s annual Thanksgiving supper, sampling the least-green meats and cheeses from area garbage bins?

While Lowe never got the chance to explore those great heights during his reign of the GW, we’ve all been here before and with Tiger King-mania still in the rearview mirror, maybe a new theme park is on the horizon, with bigger attractions, bigger designs and, best of all, bigger tigers, but, hopefully, the same old cold-cuts.

But, until then, Arbuckle Wilderness is still open, right?

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Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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12 Responses


  1. I think the recurring theme with a trash bucket like Jeff Lowe is not IF the park in Wynnewood would shut down, but a matter of WHEN.


  2. From Page Six:

    “(That b**** Carole) Baskin was granted ownership of the land by a judge in June, and Lowe was given time to wind down operations. The inspection found the cats were lacking in adequate veterinary care. Lowe stated on Facebook: ‘The animals are now in private hands and will remain in private hands.’ ”

    Whose private hands? Not Lowe’s, I hope.

    Oklahoma will be a better place when Lowe departs our state for Vegas, or wherever the hell he came from. Hopefully without possession of any exotic animals.


    1. If memory serves, he said that the cats can remain in his care in a recent article.

      Which is a fucking awful thought.


  3. You should watch the Netflix series, Louis. It plays out as if a slow motion – frame by frame – mosquito smashing into a windshield of a pickup truck going 80 MPH. You know it’s going to be a bloody mess but you can’t stop watching.


  4. Not over yet Loweboy…..


  5. I couldn’t bear to watch the documentary about Joe Exotic. If I want to watch a clown show blow up in my face, all I need to do is look to the White House.

    There’s something about zoos and animal parks that churn my guts. I bet if you could ask those animals if they’d rather have five years of life in the wild, or fifteen years of life in a zoo or animal park, they’d opt for the wild. Maybe it’s just me, but staring at wild animals in captivity is like going down to the local jail and staring at the prisoners.

    On the other hand: maybe an “exotic ex-President park” where people can come and gawk at the ex-Cheeto in Chief? I’d pay five bucks to stare at him and feed him a bag of peanuts, and listen to him screech his inanities.


    1. I get similar feelings when I go the zoo, about the animal’s natural freedoms, but I temper my regret by trying to think the zookeepers
      are really intense animal lovers and are doing the best possible for them.

      It was pretty weird but one time I took a bunch of rideable toys to a place that is a monkey and ape rescue sanctuary where they allow
      them to live out heir natural lives.
      They were lab monkeys and ones that people thought it’d be cool to have as pets.
      In that case they were conducting a very humanitarian service.
      Also, I met a lady once that I sold a big birdhouse to, who happened to have wolves that were being rescued. She had a couple of white young ones there that I would have sworn were
      just regular dogs until she explained to me why I shouldn’t try to pet them.

      And at the monkey and ape sanctuary the lady who ran that made it very clear to me to not get even close to the cages, as those things can be deadly.


      1. I’ll tell ya another one along the same lines.
        I’ve been to the dog pound before to adopt one
        and to see their faces is really sad. And those images stay with me from there on out.
        I want to pull a Doris Day and adopt them all.

        And especially the uglier dogs … you just know that no one will take them and they’ll be put to sleep, through no fault of their own, but for some human’s
        irresponsibility.

        On the other hand I used to do volunteer services for Central Oklahoma Humane Society and it was so heartwarming to see all the lady volunteers donate their time. It sort of restored my faith in humanity and compelled me to do something as well.

        That organization grew very fast and eventually the top people started treating the volunteers like peons ( I felt ) so I quite doing it.
        Well, I did have a little underlying notion too that I might be able to meet a big-hearted woman there to date and it never happened, so that was part of it too.


    2. Sometimes zoos are also research facilities and do breeding work that otherwise couldn’t be done in the wild, and a lot of that work isn’t seen or known by the public, so they’re doing way more than just displaying animals for humans to gawk at. And some zoos are better than others at having a semi-appropriate habitat for the animals (a 20×20 cage vs. a half-acre, say, even though pretty much the largest zoo habitat is way smaller than what they’d have and use in the wild). Mixed emotions, for sure…


  6. I’ve never seen the actual movie but I got caught up
    in all the rave about it and watched all kinds of other
    Exotic related Internet stuff – YouTube, etc.
    Sort of amazes me though how the general public can
    all seem to think / act the same to such a great extent.
    Weather turns nice and everybody’s wanting to ride a
    bike to shake the cabin fever (one example).

    The dang protests are another one, as I really believe people
    itching for a little excitement and social mingling.
    And it makes me have a dark thought that “What would they do if
    something even more drastic was to happen?”

    Anyway, it been many years ago but one time I took a destitute
    married couple in my pickup pretty far south of OKC so that they could work at a zoo and be able to live and eat there.
    They received checks for their mental disabilities but couldn’t seem
    to manage their finances and maintain a regular household.

    The place looked nothing like the pictures I’ve seen of Joe Exotic’s
    but maybe it was in it’s earliest of days.
    I still have a vivid memory of seeing an old lion there that was staring our direction while in the truck. They are still King of the Jungle and just looking at one strikes a fear inside me like no other animal I’m ever exposed to……. but then again it’s not like we have many sharks or alligators in Oklahoma.

    But things didn’t work out for the couple and they weren’t there long, just a few weeks I think.
    The lady was actually very lazy and the guy was just too out of it in the head, so I think the crew down there made it rough on them
    until they finally left.


  7. Anybody know where I can buy a couple of tiger cubs? Jus kiddin


  8. I’m not a Joe Exotic fan and certainly am not a Jeff Lowe fan either. It’s sad, but the park got to the point that the animals were starving and mistreated even worse than they were when Joe Exotic and his band of convict hillbilly boyfriends ran the park. It truly was a sad sight. I realize that the pandemic put a dent in both the park and their Vegas singer lifestyle, but the animals were the ones who paid the price. Neither of them should be allowed to have animals again.

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