What Jeff Lowe Has Been Up To Since The Release Of Tiger King

"Tiger King" is coming back to Netflix on November 17 for another season of big cats, big drama, and all sorts of colorful — yet often unsavory — characters. Chances are even those who haven't watched the documentary series are familiar with Joseph "Joe Exotic" Maldonado-Passage, the Oklahoma-based zoo owner who is currently serving time in federal prison for allegedly plotting to murder his rival, Big Cat Rescue founder and CEO Carole Baskin. Those who did watch probably know a lot about Exotic's past marriages to John Finlay, the late Travis Maldonado, and most recently, Dillon Passage. But what about his fellow big cat aficionados and zookeepers who similarly drew a lot of criticism for how they treat these mostly endangered animals?

One of the individuals who fall into that latter category is Jeff Lowe, the angel investor who ended up taking over Exotic's G.W. Zoo, only to prove to be just as sketchy as the man he was replacing — meet the new boss, same as the old boss. But unlike Exotic, who makes no bones about being an openly gay polygamist zoo owner who moonlights as a "country singer," Lowe was presented as a middle-aged, Ferrari-driving Las Vegas playboy with an attractive young wife and questionable practices when it comes to the treatment of big cats — especially the cubs he would bring to Vegas to show to his friends and prospective partners as a supposed "swinger."

Although he was only introduced in the 4th episode of the 1st season of "Tiger King," Lowe was one of the more unforgettable characters the world got to know through the show. Here's what he's been up to in the 20 months or so since the docu-series aired.

Jeff Lowe closed Tiger King Park after his exhibitors' license was suspended

As recalled by National Geographic, the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park (i.e. the G.W. Zoo's full name) was closed to the public in October 2019, after which Jeff Lowe moved the animals to another zoo in Thackerville, Oklahoma, which he dubbed Tiger King Park — talk about rubbing salt into Joe Exotic's wounds. After Season 1 of "Tiger King" aired, Lowe said that he plans to use the new facility for content related to the Netflix show; he also hyped up two upcoming reality shows and maintained a presence on Cameo, where he'd feature his big cats in the videos he'd send to fans through the platform.

Unfortunately for the animals at the renamed Tiger King Park, it seemed that Lowe still wasn't treating them any better than Exotic did following the move to the Thackerville location. In June 2020, U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors visited the facility for a routine inspection and found that a once-healthy lion cub named Nala had grown up to be "lethargic, depressed and thin." The officials also found several other animals, including a pair of wolves and a female grizzly bear, in similarly poor health, as well as the corpses of two tigers, both of which attracted flies that would bite nearby creatures and inflict wounds on them. 

Due to alleged violations of the Animal Welfare Act, Lowe's license to exhibit animals to the public was suspended on August 17, 2020. A day later, he opted to close Tiger King Park permanently, per Fox Business.

He suffered a stroke after a man allegedly spiked his and his wife's drinks

Earlier this year, Jeff Lowe suffered a medical emergency that was seemingly legit, though the circumstances surrounding said emergency are quite baffling. According to TMZ, Lowe was found unresponsive at the WinStar World Casino in Oklahoma at around 3 a.m. on March 18, and as his wife, Lauren, later recalled, she thought her husband was "dying in [her] arms." It was determined that Lowe had suffered a stroke, and he was quickly airlifted to a Denton, Texas, hospital, where doctors worked hard to mitigate its effects and save his life. He made a successful recovery, but as doctors weren't able to pinpoint a specific reason for the stroke, Lauren believes there might have been some foul play involved.

Speaking to TMZ, Lauren Lowe shared that on the night before Jeff suffered his stroke, the couple was approached by a "strange" man while they were out on a dinner date. This man, she explained, was a stranger to them, but he somehow knew their favorite drinks and stuck around while the two of them posed for photos with "Tiger King" fans. According to Lauren, the man might have taken advantage of the fact they were occupied and laced their drinks with some drugs while they weren't looking.

Jeff and Lauren Lowe later appeared on "TMZ Live," where Lauren said she felt strange after taking a sip from Jeff's drink. As for Jeff, he claimed he had no memory of passing out on the early morning of March 18, though he did recall the weird encounter with the man who allegedly spiked their drinks.

The feds seized dozens of big cats from Lowe's Tiger King Park

As Jeff Lowe recovered from his mysterious stroke, he continued to feel the heat from the government over the substandard conditions over at Tiger King Park. In May 2021, federal authorities seized a total of 68 big cats, including several lions, tigers, and ligers, as well as one jaguar, from the Thackerville facility, according to TMZ. This came after the USDA made three visits to the park over the past five months; similar to what happened in June 2020, inspectors determined that Jeff and Lauren Lowe failed to "provide the animals with adequate or timely veterinary care [and] appropriate nutrition" and likewise didn't properly shelter the creatures in such a way that they were protected from the elements. The couple denied these accusations.

Per The Oklahoman, it didn't help their cause that during one prior raid, which happened on May 6, the Lowes were allegedly belligerent toward officials who visited the zoo and seized some animals; Lauren purportedly threatened to kill a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agent, while Jeff cussed out the agent in an "apparent self-scripted effort to film the exchange for what he had commented earlier would be sold to Netflix as 'Tiger King 2.'" At the time of writing, we've got just one more week before we find out whether that unintentional spoiler is accurate.

Jeff and Lauren Lowe were busted for DWI

The 1st season of "Tiger King" made it pretty darn clear to anyone watching — Jeff and Lauren Lowe like to party. Perhaps too much for their own good, as on the early morning of June 6, 2021, the couple was arrested for driving while intoxicated, as reported by The Oklahoman.

The incident took place at a northwest Oklahoma City parking lot when Lauren Lowe drove over a curb and loudly asked a police officer for assistance. The bodycam footage showed that in the ensuing chaos, a third person ran from the back passenger side while Jeff Lowe switched to the driver's seat and drove for a short distance before cops pulled him over (via KXII). 

As explained by the latter outlet, Jeff was arrested for driving while intoxicated after failing a field sobriety test. Lauren was also found to be too drunk to drive, as a breathalyzer test revealed that her blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit. Likewise, she was also booked for DWI after she whiffed on her own field sobriety test. Officers observed that both Jeff and Lauren distinctly smelled of alcohol and were slurring their speech at the time of their arrest. The Lowes were then sent to jail but released shortly thereafter.

He was evicted from Tiger King Park for unpaid rent

The most recent update on Jeff Lowe's life after "Tiger King" first dropped on Netflix suggests that the zookeeper was, as of October 2021, being "evicted" from Tiger King Park, thus forcing him to look around for a new location. According to TMZ, the facility's owner – possibly Carole Baskin, as she was given control of the zoo in June 2020, per CNN – alleged that Lowe hadn't paid $10,000 in rent and other unspecified damages. Per court documents obtained by the former publication, Lowe had up until October 22 to pay the money and leave the park. TMZ's sources also claimed that Lauren Lowe asked the judge if they could stay at the park for another month on account of their child being ill, though this request was denied.

At the time of writing, it's still unclear where Lowe plans to move his zoo. But with "Tiger King 2" set to arrive in just a few days' time, we should learn more about how things have been for this controversial figure since the original docu-series brought him unexpected levels of fame ... or should we say, infamy.