Yesterday the Department of Justice (DOJ) submitted a motion for court costs, asking a judge to order Jeff and Lauren Lowe of Tiger King Park to pay $40,757.16 in damages. Judge John Heil III will rule on the motion on June 11.
In the meantime, Jeff and Lauren are racking up daily fines of $1,000 per day due to their noncompliance to a previous court order. The previous order required Jeff and Lauren to provide acquisition and disposition records for animals added to the zoo or missing from the zoo since June 22, 2020, and retain a qualified attending veterinarian for the animals. Jeff and Lauren’s fines for noncompliance will likely total more than $30,000 by the time of their next hearing.
Last week, officials removed all of the big cats from Tiger King Park and placed them at accredited sanctuaries. Authorities were only authorized to remove the lions, tigers and lion-tiger hybrids because they’re protected by the Endangered Species Act.
According to court documents, the animals were removed from Tiger King Park because Jeff and Lauren continued to breed them despite the court order that required they stop. One big cat confiscated from Tiger King Park in early May has already given birth to cubs.
The DOJ said any cubs born at the roadside zoo would be in grave danger due to the negligent animal care of Jeff and Lauren, and they worked quickly to remove all of the big cats from the property.
After the big cats were removed last week, Jeff and Lauren left the property and didn’t return for a week. As estimated 60 non-endangered animals were left behind in the care of two employees. Drone images obtained at the park show the animals living in poor conditions with very little food and dirty water. Piles of garbage, rotting carcassas, chemicals and waste were also found on the property.
According to yesterday’s court motion, Jeff and Lauren no longer have a veterinarian caring for the animals. A fox that is dying of cancer at the roadside zoo has not received medical treatment.
“As of May 18, 2021, no qualified veterinarian had humanely euthanized the fox ... who is currently being subjected to conditions that are inhumane in his condition,” documents say.
Jeff and Lauren are now back at Tiger King Park and the animals that remain at the roadside zoo have begun disappearing. It is suspected they are being sold to other roadside zoos.
If Jeff and Lauren are still out of compliance with the court’s order at the June 11 hearing, the government requested Jeff and Lauren be required to pay for additional damages the DOJ has accrued since the May 12 hearing.
According to court documents, Jeff and Lauren’s failure to comply with court orders “results in suffering and, in some cases, life-threatening conditions for the animals.”
Full court documents: