Despite a hit documentary that's been Netflix's most popular show this month, The Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park could be on the brink of collapse according to an interview with the producers behind Tiger King. In an interview with EW about the limited series that's dominating Netflix stats and social media alike, producers Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin suggest the zoo heavily featured in the series is on life support due to dwindling attendance.
Goode says he's recently talked to Jeff Lowes, who told the producers the zoo is "basically operating on fumes." Lowes is the bandana-wearing Las Vegasite in the documentary that swooped in to purchase the Wynnewood zoo from Joe Exotic, the primary focus of the entire Tiger King documentary.
"I got a very long text today from Jeff Lowes, who is running Joe's old zoo," Goode says in the interview. "All I can tell you is that he is basically operating on fumes. No one is going now and there's no source of income, and that's been going on for a long time. It's not something that has just happened because of what's happening in the world today."
As Goode points out, that very likely means bad news for the animals. As evidenced in the documentary, Exotic had perpetual problems footing the bill for the food to feed the hundreds of tigers at Wynnewood. "I think that it's very sad what's happening to these animals," the producer adds. "And it's anyone's guess as to what's going to happen to them. Some will be placed but I would suspect a lot of them will die from starvation, and probably be put down. And this is probably true for a lot of operations around the country right now that keep exotic animals, and even big zoos are struggling right now to keep their animals."
In 2019, Exotic — real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage — was convicted on two counts of murder for fire, eight counts of falsifying wildlife records, and nine counts of violating the federal government's Endangered Species Act. Despite an appeal, Exotic is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence.
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness is now streaming on Netflix.