WYNNEWOOD, Okla (KXII)– Nineteen tigers ordered to be removed from a Florida man’s property have made their way to a Southern Oklahoma exotic animal park.
“It makes me feel good that they have a home,” Cheryl Scott said.
“This facility has never said no to an animal in need,” Joseph Maldonado said.
Joseph Maldonado, AKA Joe Exotic, has co-run the exotic park since it opened in 1998.
He says it’s the largest private facility in the U.S., with the more tigers than anywhere else in the country.
“This pushes us to 247 tigers at this facility,” Maldonado said.
Maldonado tells us, a Florida man who owned the tigers called him for help after being forced by the government to get rid of the tigers.
He says it took about 5 hours to get the tigers in their new homes Sunday night.
“People would say you know at what point to do you have to stop, well you know at what point do we have to stop the politicians from taking people’s rights away from them, and forcing them to get rid of these animals,” He said.
Maldonado says he doesn’t agree with some of the bills that Oklahoma law makers are trying to pass, like the Big Cat Safety Act.
He says that’s part of the reason he’s running for Governor of Oklahoma.
“If I have to use the idea that I’m running for Governor to wake some of these politicians up and find out where the corruption and the money’s going in who’s pockets they’re going to shoot me before I shut up,” He said.
Maldonado says no matter what happens with politics, he’s always going to care for animals.
“They are here to stay, all 19 tigers will remain here for the rest of their life…we’ll feed them and take care of them until they die of old age,” Maldonado said.
Maldonado is asking the public for donations to expand the tiger’s compound.