Local Zoo Takes In 19 Tigers Despite Court Order

Wednesday, July 19th 2017, 7:14 pm

Controversy is brewing after a Wynnewood zoo takes in several tigers from a Florida facility despite an ongoing court battle and an order from a federal judge. 

In all, 19 of the big cats were brought to the Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, but they were brought here against PETA's wishes and against Florida's wishes.

The cats were trucked into the Park this past Sunday after they were removed from a facility in Florida. Last Friday, a federal judge ordered the Florida facility not to remove the animals until after the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had a chance to examine the zoo. The tigers were transported anyway.

Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park entertainment director, Joe Exotic, says he’s not worried.  

“No not at all,” Exotic said.  “We have nothing to do with the court order. We have nothing to do with the court order."

The Florida zoo has a history of animal welfare violations, more than 40 of them in the past seven years. Exotic says the tigers seemed to be well-cared for in Florida. 

"It was a very clean facility. Animals were cared for,” Exotic said.  “As you can tell they're not skinny. They're not starved."

One of the tigers gave birth en route to Wynnewood, but the three cubs died. Exotic says the others could have met the same fate if they had stayed in Florida. 

“They probably would have been euthanized," he said. "As far as I'm concerned the 19 cats are here. They're enjoying life as you can tell and they're here to stay."