LITTLE ROCK (KATV) – The most-watched documentary series on Netflix has raked in more than 35 million viewers, and the stars of "Tiger King" have spoken exclusively to KATV refuting a claim made by Arkansas’s Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge.
In a Facebook post, Turpentine Creek says they have more than a dozen tigers bred by Joe Exotic himself and are asking for donations. But Jeff and Lauren Lowe the now-owners of the Greater Wynnewood Zoo say that’s misleading.
“It doesn’t surprise me. They’re all a bunch of carnivorous leaches," said Jeff.
The Lowes took to a Facebook post of their own, refuting those claims. When KATV reached out to Turpentine, they chose not to respond to the allegations. “We’re not going to comment on anything that they’ve posted or anything like that. We’ve just put out a post about our animals that we’ve rescued," said Turpentine Creek's animal curator Emily McCormack.
McCormack did clarify that the tigers in captivity at Turpentine Creek did not come directly from the Greater Wynnewood Zoo. She said, “They were bred by Joe and sold to either a facility or a private owner. Then those people could no longer take care of those animals and we were called in to rescue them."
The "Tiger King" series has garnered more than 5 billion minutes watched worldwide. The Lowes say Turpentine Creek’s post asking for donations is solely capitalizing on that new-found fame.
Jeff said, “It’s very disingenuous to solicit money from people particularly when people are surviving on COVID-19 checks for their income.” He went on to say, “You would think these people would be coming to us and saying what can we do to help you? But no, they’re raising money for their own facilities.”
But Turpentine Creek says in everything they do, it’s always with the animals best interest in mind. “Right now, we’re just telling the animal’s stories and why we’re here and why sanctuaries are necessary," said McCormack.
The Lowes say they have not been in contact with Turpentine Creek in years and certainly have no plans to do so now.
Turpentine creek wildlife refuge is currently closed to visitors because of COVID-19 pandemic.