The exotic cat zoo made famous by the Netflix series Tiger King is closing for good.
Current owner Jeff Lowe announced the decision in a Facebook post, blaming “the pressures of” animal rights charity Peta.
It comes after a federal judge ordered the zoo be handed over to Carole Baskin as part of a ruling in a $1m (£800,000) trademark dispute.
That meant the current operators had to be out in 120 days.
Jeff Lowe is the former business partner of Joe Exotic, who is currently serving a 22-year sentence for his involvement in a murder-for-hire plot and animal abuse.
“The Tiger King phenomenon has definitely changed our lives in many ways,” he said in his post.
“It has brought us more attention than any human deserves, good and bad.
“It has, and probably will continue to make us a target of every nutjob and animal rights loon in the world, but we are prepared.”
Jeff Lowe added that he has voluntarily forfeited his United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) exhibitor’s license – which allowed him to buy and sell animals – due to the park’s permanent closure.
He said that after “five consecutive perfect inspections”, the USDA have now “folded to the pressures of Peta and continue to make false accusations against me”.
“Suspiciously, less than 24 hours after I contacted the USDA to voluntarily forfeit my license, they notify me that they are suspending my license for 21 days for a litany of falsehoods.”
Brittany Peet, who works on the captive animal team at Peta, called for Jeff Lowe’s license to be permanently removed.
“Peta looks forward to seeing every one of the long-suffering animals at the G.W. Zoo be transferred to an appropriate facility where it won’t take federal intervention for a sick cat to receive veterinary care,” she said in a statement.