For a guy who spent so much time bashing Joe Exotic both on and off camera, Jeff Lowe doesn’t seem too pristine himself.
Now, Federal authorities are concerned for the welfare of the animals in his care … but he’s refusing to let them in to inspect things.
TMZ got their hands on new legal documents about the zoo that once belonged to infamous criminal Joe Exotic.
In the court papers, federal authorities claim that Jeff Lowe, who currently owns the former zoo, is doing his charges dirty.
Specifically, they claim that he is displaying the animals without the required licenses or care … and it gets worse.
According to prosecutors, there is a real belief that these animals are in "serious danger."
Why? Well, for one thing, because they do not have an attending veterinarian.
Additionally, they are allegedly getting substandard care. That is frightening and sad and heartbreaking to us all.
Federal documents give an unnerving and upsetting description of what conditions are like.
They claim that some fo the animals are malnourished and dehydrated.
Others are said to be licking their wounds from fights within their enclosures. That should not be happening.
Jeff Lowe argues that federal authorities must be just making things up and couldn’t possibly know any of this.
Because no one outside of his team has seen them in two months.
"How arrogant and ignorant of them to deduce that my animals are in anything but perfect health," Jeff says.
He then claims: "Their filing doesn’t have a single factual accusation in the entire document."
You know, some would say that the smart response would be to just invite authorities into the zoo to assess animal welfare.
Instead, Lowe has elected to show some carefully selected images of two tigers to TMZ … which is not the same thing at all.
(Letting TMZ in to photograph at their leisure would be better, but still nothing compared to letting actual law enforcement do an inspection)
Lowe insists that all of his animals have a perfect body scale rating. That claim is not accompanied by verified evidence.
Federal authorities have claimed that Jeff Lowe does not keep good records of everything that goes on at the zoo, including the health and activities of the varous animals.
Over the summer, the USDA inspected and found numerous problems, including a frighteningly thin 16-week-old lion cub that could barely stand.
At that time, Lowe’s license was suspended for 21 days. A useless consequence that does not appear to have changed anything.
Now, authorities are seeking an order declaring that Lowe is violating federal law. (So weird that, if he’s doing everything correctly, he doesn’t allow inspectors in without a court order)
This would give federal investigators the immediate legal go-ahead to inspect the park and ascertain the condition of the animals.
Lowe insists that the government is just fixated on him and that this is a sad attempt to, uh, target him personally, as if authorities don’t have anything better to do.