People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is joining the US Department of Justice in a lawsuit against Jeff and Lauren Lowe of Tiger King Park. Yesterday PETA filed a Motion to Intervene as a party plaintiff in the case. Their court filings include a 66 page complaint detailing disturbing animal neglect and suffering under the Lowe’s care.
The documents outline a 2019 incident that involved approximately 100 animals that were transported from Charlestown, IN, to Thackerville, OK, enclosed in a “100 degree trailer with no A/C unit” and “no water.” Jeff estimated 30 animals died during the trip and the animals that survived “were in horrible condition,” including “massive brain damage from the heat,” and “open seeping wounds,” documents say. Some of the animals began “chewing their tails off their bodies,” and the sloths “were chewing their own feet off.” Additional animals “dropped dead” shortly thereafter, according to PETA’s legal filings.
The Lowes failed to obtain veterinary attention for numerous sick, injured and dying animals, according to documents. Animals suffered from fly-strike, a painful condition where flies lay eggs on an animal which hatch into maggots that chew on the animal’s flesh. Documents say the flies were attracted to the facility by the partially burnt, decomposing big cat carcasses on the property which caused an “odor of decomposing flesh.”
Animals under the Lowe’s care were infested with ringworm and suffered from giardia, pancreatic insufficiency, open lesions and urinary tract infections. 18” of a tiger named Sweety Pie’s tail was bitten off by another tiger and a tiger named Amelia had her toe bitten off by another animal. A tiger named Jughead died after being attacked and dragged into an adjacent enclosure by neighboring tigers.
Court documents filed by the Department of Justice indicate “[t]he Lowes’ animals have suffered from and continue to suffer from easily preventable or treatable conditions, which in some cases has caused the untimely death of animals. Indeed, in the last two years, many
animals have not been seen and/or treated by a veterinarian at all.”
PETA is asking a judge to rule Jeff and Lauren have violated the Endangered Species Act and to enjoin them from owning or possessing endangered or non-endangered animals in the future. They are asking for the Lowe’s ownership rights of their animals to be terminated and the animals that remain at Tiger King Park to be sent to reputable wildlife facilities.
Full court documents: