Tim Stark deemed a dangerous person; prohibited from owning weapons


April 7, 2020 screengrab. Facebook/Tim Stark.

Yesterday a judge ruled that Tim Stark of the now-defunct Wildlife In Need (WIN) is a dangerous person and ordered that his license to carry guns be revoked. His rifle was ordered to be retained by the state of Indiana.


The ruling was in response to an April incident in which Stark threatened to shoot himself and anyone who entered his property.


Stark was featured on the 2020 Netflix series Tiger King. He’s been accused of violating the federal Animal Welfare Act more than 120 times. Stark admitted to euthanizing a leopard cub by beating it to death with a baseball bat.


Stark was known for declawing tigers, a practice that causes lifelong pain and suffering for the animals. He also made millions off of cub petting, which he referred to as “Tiger Baby Play Time.”


Court documents indicate Stark defrauded the public by leading them to believe the money they donated to the nonprofit WIN would be used for conservation when the money was instead used to pay Stark’s personal bills, to purchase more animals, and to fund a 2019 failed zoo venture in Oklahoma with Tiger King co-star Jeff Lowe that resulted in the death of 15-20 animals during transportation.


In late 2020, Stark lost his animals in a series of court battles with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and the state of Indiana. On April 7, 2021, a judge ordered he be permanently banned from owning or exhibiting animals and his animals were awarded to the Indiana Zoological Society to find permanent placement. He was also ordered to pay back all of the funds he misappropriated from WIN.


Later that evening, Stark took to Facebook live with a syringe strapped to his arm and a gun at his side. He referred to the syringe as PETA and he threatened to commit suicide at 5 p.m. the next day, unless the judge who ruled against him justified the ruling.


When the judge ignored Stark’s demands, Stark took to Facebook live on April 8, this time claiming he was going to shoot himself, rather than inject himself with the syringe. About 40 minutes into the live video, the feed cut out and Stark was apprehended by police.


Prosecutors filed a motion to have Stark deemed a dangerous person and to permanently remove his firearms. Yesterday, that motion was granted.


“Any license to carry a handgun received by Timothy Stark is hereby suspended …” the court ruling said. “...Timothy Stark is hereby enjoined and prohibited from renting, receiving transfer of, owning or possessing a firearm.”

Court ruling:

Order Issued (2)
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