A new reality show shoot at the private zoo once owned by Joe Exotic — and featured in the hit Netflix reality show, “Tiger King” — was briefly thrown into turmoil when the film crew thought they’d found human remains.
Agents with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and Garvin County Sheriff’s deputies rushed to the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park Friday after cadaver dogs there alerted handlers to the possibility of human remains, the local ABC affiliate reported.
The dogs were in the park for the filming of a “Ghost Adventures” episode, the zoo’s current operator, Jeff Lowe, told the outlet.
But the supposed cadaver turned out to be just the remains of a small animal, reporter Taylor Adams of Oklahoma station KFOR tweeted just before midnight Friday.
“!!EXOTIC UPDATE!!” Taylor tweeted. “The Garvin County Sheriff says no human remains were found on-site at the GW Zoo tonight. Instead … a small animal. He says the investigation is over.”
During filming, handlers had been convinced that two cadaver dogs had picked up the scent of body parts, Lowe said, according to the ABC affiliate.
Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as “Joe Exotic,” had owned the park before he was imprisoned after being convicted in April 2019 of conspiring to kill animal rights activist Carole Baskin — as well as for killing five tigers and selling tiger cubs.
The zoo will not be in Lowe’s hands for much longer.
A federal judge last month granted Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue control of the facility, after ruling the property was fraudulently transferred years ago to Joe Exotic’s mother, Shirley Schreibvogel, to as a way to avoid paying Baskin a previous $1 million trademark judgment.
Weeks after the ruling, authorities announced they were probing the zoo after photos of allegedly neglected and injured animals surfaced.
Lowe has also recently been sued by the state of Oklahoma for at least $50,000 in back sales taxes.
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