Tiger King Star Responds to PETA’s Tiger Killer Halloween Costume

One Tiger King star has responded to PETA’s “Tiger Killer” Halloween costume parodying the show. Jeff Lowe heard about the organization’s plans and had his lawyer draft a letter to tell PETA their objections about the depiction. They issued a cease and desist, but the advocacy group isn’t even trying to humor that request. The Hollywood Reporter managed to obtain a letter from Lowe’s attorney James D. Sullivan that says the outfit, “[utilizes] unauthorized proprietary rights to the ‘Joe Exotic’ and ‘Tiger King’ names… PETA’s unauthorized use has damaged and adversely impacted by client’s proprietary interests.” It’s a potent claim and not one that the organization was going to let go without a counter-response.

"PETA’s ‘Joe Exotic Tiger Killer’ costume is an obvious parody protected under trademark law and constitutes fair comment and reporting under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” PETA’s attorney Jeffery S. Kerr wrote in their letter. "We suggest Mr. Lowe focus instead on his serious legal problems in Nevada, Oklahoma and elsewhere, including the numerous recent federal Animal Welfare Act violations perpetrated against endangered big cats at his greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park."

In the USDA’s report about the park, they claimed the sanitation situation on the ground was abysmal.

Their findings read, “There is a large pile of primarily wood debris in the back of the park. The licensee stated that it contains a partially burned Tigon carcass said to be named Young Yi and a black tarp covering a deceased tiger by the named of Dot. There is a foul odor of decomposing flesh and many flies are present on the boards and surrounding areas.”

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“The improper or delayed disposal of carcasses has resulted as an attractant for flies and other pests. Fly trap bags were observed to be present in the front public areas of the park but no fly traps were present in the back areas of the park during the inspection. The flies have created fly strikes on many species in the park including tigers, lions, and wolves,” it continues. “Fly strikes have resulted in large patches of painful ulceration on the ears, and legs on numerous tigers, lions, and wolves. Ulcerated areas are red, have scabs and some have exuded pus or fresher blood. These affected areas are missing hair, skin and/or deeper flesh. When the inspector pointed this out, the facility representatives applied ointment to the ear tips of the tiger and lion cubs during the inspection.”

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