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US Authorities Have Seized 68 Large Wild Cats from a Zoo Run by the 'Tiger King' Star

Lois Oladejo
May 21, 2021
11:00 P.M.
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The US Department of Justice has seized 68 protected big cats and a jaguar from "Tiger King" star Jeffrey Lowe's zoo following allegations of neglect. 

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On Thursday, the US Department of Justice released a statement announcing that it had seized 68 wild cats and one jaguar from "Tiger King" star Jeffrey Lowe and wife Lauren Lowe. 

The DOJ removed the animals from the couple's Tiger King Park in Oklahoma after it was searched, following ongoing violations of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). 

Photo of a tiger. | Photo: Getty Images

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The statement revealed that the US Department of Agriculture, USDA, and Plant Health Inspection Service had inspected Jeffrey's park thrice since the middle of December 2020. 

Following these inspections, they cited Jeffrey and Lauren for not providing the animals adequate or prompt veterinary care, proper feeding, and standard protection from unpleasant weather. Such conditions prevented the animals from behaving naturally. 

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Recently, authorities found the Lowes guilty of contempt after failing to comply with court orders for months. They were ordered to hire a veterinarian and also keep to the Animal Welfare Act's requirements.

Jeffrey was accused of taking tiger and lemur cubs away from their mothers for exhibition. 

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Jean E. Williams, the Acting Assistant Attorney General, emphasized that the seizure shows that it takes every allegation of harm to animals protected by the ESA very seriously. 

Williams said that the animals' rescue was evidence of the effectiveness of civil forfeiture when it is used along with statutes like the ESA. 

Williams further expressed pride in the Department of Justice's partnership with the Environment and Natural Resources Division to keep animals away from danger.

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They will also take the rescued animals to a place where no harm will befall them. The USDA is investigating the case against Jeffrey and Lauren in conjunction with the Department of Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service. 

US marshals also played an integral role in carrying out the seizure warrant and taking hold of the park. With that, it was easy to remove the animals from the property. 

Before this seizure, there had been warning signs for the Lowes. In November 2020, feds accused the famed television star and his wife of being cruel to animals.

Jeffrey was accused of taking tiger and lemur cubs away from their mothers for exhibition. These actions caused the animals physical and psychological harm. 

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