There’s no denying that Netflix’s ‘Tiger King’ is filled with eccentric characters who are navigating their past and present experiences. But let’s be honest; it’s the effect they have had on the animals that baffle us the most. From Joe Exotic to Jeff Lowe to Tim Stark, they’ve all done and been through quite a lot, yet the latter has had legal troubles of his own. Accused of animal abuse, amongst other things in the past year, Tim Stark has even been to court. So now, if you wish to know more about him and his current whereabouts, we’ve got you covered.
Tim Stark’s Tiger King Journey
Having established Wildlife in Need in 1999 around his Charlestown home off Jack Teeple Road in Indiana, Tim Stark became acquainted with Joe Exotic over their business with big cats and different exotic animals. For over two decades, he kept and handled the beautiful creatures with the help of volunteers at that same establishment, allegedly earning good returns through them via playtime with guests. That’s important to note because he’d always billed his organization as a non-profit that only worked to help the animals have a good life.
Once Joe Exotic left GW Zoo and was arrested on attempted murder-for-hire and animal abuse charges, his park’s new owner, Jeff Lowe, decided to relocate the facility to Thackerville with Tim as his new partner. It was supposed to be a 50/50 agreement, but it fell apart soon after. As per the documentary, while Tim said that it was because Jeff did not hold his end of the bargain, the latter claimed Tim’s unstable actions were the reason, mentioning the several animals that apparently died under his care and his self-admitted split personality, Sue. Tim’s legal troubles also started arising around this time.
Where is Tim Stark Now?
Following animal abuse complaints, the authorities looked into Tim Stark’s Wildlife in Need park in September 2020. They seized, removed, and relocated more than 200 animals that day, a few of which were missing and found kept in a boxed truck with no air or water. Since Tim had also threatened a police deputy during a prior inspection, it resulted in two arrest warrants against him for intimidation and contempt of court owing to the hidden creatures. The animal keeper fled the state, only to be apprehended at a bed-and-breakfast in New York weeks later. Firearms were also a massive part of his journey.
In fact, in April 2021, Tim had waved around a gun on Facebook Live, asserting that he couldn’t think straight anymore, and made comments about committing acts of violence towards himself and others. He was subsequently taken in for a psychiatric evaluation, where he was deemed a “dangerous person,” and his license to carry was suspended. Moreover, in June, Tim pleaded guilty to the intimidation charges (for which he was sentenced to time served) and declared bankruptcy. A judge eventually revoked his permit to acquire, exhibit, and own any exotic and native animals as well.
From what we can tell, Tim has been fined more than $750,000 in legal fees to PETA after years of court proceedings with the organization, along with a $340,000 fine for violating the Animal Welfare Act. He was held in contempt of court again in October 2021, and the assets of his park have since been auctioned. Tim doesn’t seem to have much anymore, but it looks like he is still an Indiana native determined to expose the “truth” about all those who want to bring him down. His Facebook videos, which he says he’ll do more of, make it evident that he won’t be giving up anytime soon.
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