Opinion

What Happened to Joe Exotic’s Zoo?

March 21, 2020
4 min read

The first thing that comes to your mind once you finish watching Netflix’s ‘Tiger King’ is what happened to Joe Exotic’s Zoo. The actual name of the zoo in question is The Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park or simply GW Zoo. Home to various big cats, including tigers, lions, and pumas, the zoo features prominently in the docuseries. After all, it is the treatment of animals in this zoo that sparks the controversial war between Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin, which goes on to escalate into the former attempting to assassinate the latter, via hitmen.

Naturally, you might be wondering about where the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park is, and if it still exists, now that Joe’s in prison. We have got you covered in that regard, with all the details.

The History of the Joe Exotic’s Zoo:

The Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park is located in Wynnewood, which is a city in Garvin County, Oklahoma. The specific address is 25803 N County Road 3250. The State of Oklahoma has licensed the park as a rendering facility. As we already know, Joe Exotic was in charge of the park initially. However, the docuseries shows us that Shirley, his mother, was involved in the daily operations of the zoo, at least on paper.

Francis and Shirley’s names did crop up in connection to the zoo, allowing Carole to go after their livelihoods when Joe was being sued. We also see that Joe drained his parents dry, trying to run his zoo. When all hope seemed to be lost, Jeff Lowe came in as an investor and partner.

Not only did Jeff want to keep some of his big cats at the zoo, but he also offered Joe a way out of the financial pickle. They also teamed up with James Garretson, to run the operation. Soon after, the relationship between Joe and Jeff began to sour. Around the time of Joe’s imprisonment, Jeff brought in Tim Stark, to help with the financing and to make the zoo larger.

In fact, it was their plan to close the zoo at Wynnewood and open a new one near Thackerville, specifically near the Winstar Casino. The plan, as per a local news report, was to have the zoo opened by the end of 2019. However, from the docuseries, it appears that Stark and Lowe might have had a falling out. We see that Lowe might not be able to hold up his side of the monetary bargain, and Stark is unwilling to foot all the bills.

Initially, Lowe had addressed the closing of Exotic’s zoo, saying, “We think it’s best to let this zoo, die with Joe’s conviction and not make the next generation of animals to live here, forever suffer his outrageous behavior and reputation. There is SO MUCH MORE to be revealed about Joe and his crimes against animals and we don’t want to be associated with him any longer.”

Is the GW Zoo Still Open? How Much do the Tickets Cost?

Despite Lowe and Stark’s plans to open up a new zoo, Joe Exotic’s Zoo still exists, and is still called The Greater Wynnewood Animal Park. You can check out their official site here. As you can see, Jeff Lowe is still the CEO of the zoo. Yes, the same Jeff, who started off as Joe’s business partner but ended up as an FBI informant.

The zoo remains open on all days from 9 AM to 7 PM, while tours are from 11:30 am and 2:30 pm every day. The zoo offers a variety of tours, for which you are charged accordingly. The basic general admission costs $15 per person, while the sloth encounter and deluxe private playtime cost $50 and $80 per person respectively. There is also an exotic animal tour for $55 per person, a private playtime costing $50  per person, and the VIP behind the scenes tour, costing $175 per person.

It is evident that even though Exotic is in jail, his zoo continues to operate, and perhaps flourish under Jeff Lowe’s management.

Read More: Where is Jeff Lowe Now?

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