KEENESBURG, Colo. (CBS4) - The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg received nearly three dozen wild, big cats from Tiger King Park in Thackerville, Oklahoma. Jeffrey and Lauren Lowe, who were featured in the Netflix show "Tiger King," owned the property.
Jeff Lowe acquired the animals after the August shutdown of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park.
Pat Craig, the owner of the Wild Animal Sanctuary, says 14 of the 35 animals were brought in in January. He said those 14 were mostly mothers and cubs that needed immediate attention.
Of the 68 protected big cats — 46 were tigers, 15 were lion-tiger hybrids and seven were lions. There was one jaguar.
Craig says Wild Animal Sanctuary, in fact, was in charge of retrieving and distributing the animals from the three recent raids.
"We've knew more than a month ago this was going to happen," Craig told CBS4 on Sunday. "We have a refuge that's 9,000 acres. So we have the room."
Craig couldn't comment on the health or condition of the animals as per an agreement with the Department of Justice.
"We feel great. Obviously we were concerned for the animals' welfare. We've been doing this for 41 years, so we're confident we can provide a good home for these animals," he said.
A federal complaint filed in November of 2020 accused Jeff and Lauren Lowe of inhumane treatment. They received citations for improper care after inspections which occurred the following month.
Prosecutors said the couple did not comply with court orders to employ a qualified veterinarian and create a veterinary care program in accordance to the Animal Welfare Act. The Lowes were recently found in contempt of that order, the DOJ said.
In 2020, shortly after "Tiger King" gained international popularity, the Wild Animal Sanctuary announced it had taken in 39 tigers and three black bears out of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in 2017.
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