Some of the big cats seized from "Tiger King Park" in Oklahoma, which famously featured in the 2020 Netflix true crime series Tiger King, have been rescued by Minnesota's Wildcat Sanctuary.
The Sandstone sanctuary, which is home to dozens of rescued wildcats, announced Monday that it has accepted several big cats – including tigers, lions, and hybrids – following the seizure of 69 animals from Oklahoma last week.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and other federal authorities led the raid and rescue effort last week, which followed inspections at the Tiger King Park in December that saw owners Jeff and Lauren Lowe served with numerous animal welfare citations.
"All of the big cats have been accepted by accredited sanctuaries in the U.S. including The Wildcat Sanctuary in Minnesota, which will house and care for several tigers, lions and hybrid big cats while the U.S. Department of Justice seeks forfeiture of the animals," the sanctuary said on its Facebook page.
"The Wildcat Sanctuary has also offered to transport and provide a permanent home to any of the smaller wild cats that remain at Tiger King Park if placement is needed."
Founder Tammy Thies described the seizure of the 69 cats as "historic and important."
"The Endangered Species Act is a federal law designed to protect endangered animals and I, along with the entire accredited sanctuary community, am very relieved that these big cats will receive the care and nutrition they desperately need and deserve," she said.
Tiger King, which focused on the life of zookeeper and felon Joe Exotic, was one of Netflix's biggest successes in 2020, and was streamed by more than 34 million people in the first 10 days of its release.
Tiger King Park featured in the final episode, with the big cats moving to Jeff Lowe's facility after the shutdown of Joe Exotic's Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Thackerville.