Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park

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Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park LLC
Date opened1999
LocationWynnewood, Oklahoma
Coordinates34°37′32.33″N 97°12′40.03″W / 34.6256472°N 97.2111194°W / 34.6256472; -97.2111194
Land area16 acres (6.5 ha)
No. of animals700
No. of species50

The Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park is a park displaying animals in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. The park is licensed by the State of Oklahoma as a rendering facility.[1] It was purchased and re-opened by Jeff Lowe, a South Carolina businessman, in February 2016, shortly before its founder, Joseph Maldonado-Passage, né Joseph Schreibvogel and nicknamed "Joe Exotic", attempted to hire someone to kill Carole Baskin, Chief Executive Officer of Big Cat Rescue,[2] who had won a lawsuit against him in 2013.[3] Maldonado-Passage has since been arrested and convicted of two counts of murder-for-hire, eight violations of the Lacey Act and nine of the Endangered Species Act.[2][4]

Establishment and history[edit]

The Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park is situated on 16 acres (6.5 ha) and began as a shelter for endangered and exotic species of animals. It currently houses over 50 species of animals and over 200 big cats, such as tigers, lions, puma, ligers and tigons. Between February and June 2006 PETA had an investigator work as an employee.[5] The group subsequently released footage.[6] PETA alleged that animals were starved and "routinely hit, punched, kicked, sprayed with cold water, and struck with rakes and shovels."[7][8] In 2012, the Humane Society of the United States released video taken by an undercover investigator. It included footage of a tiger being dragged across gravel, big cats being hit and Maldonado-Passage instructing staff to smack cubs to make them walk.[9][10] HSUS claimed that 5 tigers died during their investigation, one of which did not receive veterinary care.[10] In May 2014, the USDA cited the park for failure to provide adequate veterinary care. According to officials, an injured bear's wound reopened and an employee attempted to stitch it. The injury became subsequently worse and the bear was euthanized.[11] In September 2018, Maldonado-Passage was indicted and arrested by the FBI for attempting to hire someone to murder Carole Baskin, who runs Big Cat Rescue.[12] He was convicted April 2, 2019.[4]

The new owner of the zoo, Jeff Lowe, plans to close the zoo in Wynnewood and move the animals to a new location near Thackerville.[4]


  1. ^ "Rendering Licenses" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Joe Exotic Convicted for Murder for Hire & 17 Wildlife Trafficking Violations".[self-published source]
  3. ^ "Joe Exotic Built a Wild Animal Kingdom. He Was the Most Dangerous Predator of Them All".
  4. ^ a b c Clay, Nolan (April 3, 2019). "Joe Exotic found guilty in murder-for-hire case". The Oklahoman. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  5. ^ Surette, Rusty (January 11, 2011). "PETA Allegedly Paid Man To 'Spy, Download Information' From Exotic Animal Park". Retrieved July 28, 2011.
  6. ^ "Misery and Cruelty at G.W. Exotic Animals Memorial Park in Oklahoma: A PETA Investigation". People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  7. ^ "G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park Investigator's Log—Neglect". People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Retrieved June 23, 2011.
  8. ^ "Oklahoma Pseudo-Sanctuary: Shelter From Danger or Dangerous Shelter?". People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  9. ^ "Alleged abuse at GW Memorial Park seen on tape". May 16, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  10. ^ a b "'If they walk in here and take my animals away, it's going to be a small Waco':Joe Exotics pledge after being accused". May 16, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  11. ^ "G.W. Interactive Zoological Park under fire for alleged animal mistreatment". May 22, 2014. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  12. ^ Clay, Nolan; Wallace, Josh (September 7, 2018). "Joe Exotic, former Oklahoma gubernatorial candidate, indicted, accused in murder-for-hire plot". The Oklahoman. Retrieved August 10, 2019.

External links[edit]