Tiger King’s Jeff Lowe ordered to surrender cubs after deaths of big cats in his care

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Tiger King 's Jeff Lowe has been ordered to surrender his cubs and their mothers after the deaths of some big cats in his care.

The zoo boss, who took over the zoo run by jailed Joe Exotic in Netflix hit Tiger King, was ordered to hand over the big cats in an animal welfare case.

It follows the deaths of two young tigers in his care.

Lowe and his wife Lauren were also told they must not put animals on public exhibit without a license in a federal court ruling in Oklahoma last week.

A statement from the US Justice Department released on Tuesday said: "The Lowes have shown a shocking disregard for both the health and welfare of their animals, as well as the law."

Jeff Lowe has been ordered to hand over his cubs
(Image: Netflix)

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Lowe is the former business partner of zoo keeper Joe Exotic, who is currently serving 22 years in prison for attempting to facilitate the death of his rival Carole Baskin, as well as a string of animal cruelty offences.

Lowe is now working on opening a new park in 2021 in Oklahoma for big cats called Tiger King Park.

He took over ownership of the Wynewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma after Exotic was imprisoned in 2019.

Lowe revealed last summer that he was closing the park under pressure from animal rights activists and inspectors.

Two tiger cubs died in his care
(Image: tigerkingpark/Instagram)

Jeff and wife Lauren
(Image: Netflix)

He had moved 160 big cats to his new facility.

The federal court found on January 15 that two tiger cubs died less than a week apart due to a failure by the Lowes to provide proper nutrition and veterinary care.

The couple were ordered to surrender all big cats under the age of one year, as well as their mothers, and to provide records for all animals acquired or disposed of since June 2020.

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Joe Exotic
(Image: Netflix US/AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Joe – real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage – has said that he wants all animals to roam freely after learning what it's like to be caged.

In an interview with Mariana Van Zeller for her new National Geographic docu-series Trafficked, he said: "I hate to sound like an animal rights person but my whole outlook on animals being in captivity has changed since I have been in jail.

"If I would have known 20 years ago what life inside a cage is like I would never have had a zoo. It doesn't matter if it's a tiger or a gerbil, no animal belongs in a cage."