‘Tiger King’ Star Jeff Lowe’s Net Worth Doesn’t Reveal the Zoo’s Current State
With the massive success of Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness, it’s no surprise fans are thirsty for more. Information on some of the key players can’t come fast enough. Such is the case with Jeff Lowe, how he makes his money, and why he helped dissolve Joseph Maldonado-Passage’s (aka Joe Exotic) corporation. Here’s what we know about the former zoo’s newest owner.
What is Jeff Lowe’s net worth?
Netflix’s seven-part docuseries Tiger King doesn’t necessarily focus on the rich. One hot topic since its release is how much money some of the stars have made — like Jeff Lowe — and how.
When Maldonado-Passage closed the doors to his zoo and dissolved the corporation, Jeff and Lauren Lowe took over. They’re in the process of rebranding the zoo as The Oklahoma Zoo. Animals will move to a 55-acre plot in Thackerville, Oklahoma this summer.
Lowe’s net worth prior to becoming a zoo owner lies in his past career as a manager for celebrity stuntmen, Evel and Robbie Knievel. Though his exact net worth at the time is unknown, he likely received a cut of their earnings which, at the time, was a combined $13 million.
He’s also owned pet businesses in Colorado and Las Vegas and had a chain of discount retail stores
Recent numbers indicate Lowe’s exact net worth is also unknown. However, a report via Cinemaholic reveals Lowe’s numbers were in the millions in 2016. With the newly acquired zoo, and Tiger King fame — not to mention his work on Cameo — some estimate his net worth around $5 million to $10 million.
Here’s how Lowe makes his money
As mentioned in Tiger King, Lowe’s grandfather founded Robin’s Brothers Circus in 1928. With that, he’s had a lot of experience around big cats and even received some as birthday gifts in prior years.
Lowe and Maldonado-Passage crossed paths when Lowe attempted to purchase a cub from Maldonado-Passage. He eventually realized the dire circumstances and opted to make Maldonado-Passage an offer he couldn’t refuse — to dissolve the corporation and take ownership of the zoo.
Part of this stems from Maldonado-Passage’s ongoing legal battle with animal rights activist, Carole Baskin. He racked up $1 million in bills and was forced to file bankruptcy.
This ended with Maldonado-Passage’s alleged murder-for-hire plot against Baskin in which Lowe became the official informant that landed Maldonado-Passage behind bars. [Maldonado-Passage] is currently serving a 22-year sentence.
Lowe makes his money now as the CEO of the zoo. Admission runs $15 per person with special packages at $50 per person. Exotic animal tours are around $55 per person, private playtime at $80 per person, and a VIP behind-the-scenes tour that runs $175 per person.
As for his work with Cameo — paid personalized video shoutouts from celebrities — he and his wife are charging $150 per video.
Directors have their own opinion on Lowe’s ‘new’ zoo
Appearances can be deceiving. One of the creators of the series, Eric Goode, said despite any success Lowe’s had, the zoo’s current state is in question.
“All I can tell you is that he [Lowe] is basically operating on fumes. No one is going now and there’s no source of income, and that’s been going on for a long time,” Goode told Entertainment Weekly.
“But I think that it’s very sad what’s happening to these animals. Some will be placed but I would suspect a lot of them will die from starvation, and probably be put down.”
Lowe echoed as much during an appearance on Lights Out with David Spade.
“The attention that thing has brought will fill the bank account back up for a while, but it’s always depleted in the downtime. When people don’t come to the zoo in the winter and we’re spending $5,000 or $6,000 a week on food and $2,500 on veterinary care, we struggle,” he said.
With that, Lauren previously told KOCO News Maldonado-Passage won’t be associated with the new zoo.
“His name will not be mentioned,” she said. “He will have nothing to do with the new facility. Going to let this place in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, die with him.”
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness is available on Netflix now.