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Judge orders Tiger King’s jailed Joe Exotic to hand zoo to arch-rival

He is serving a 22-year prison term.

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Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as Joe Exotic (Santa Rosa County Jail via AP)

Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as Joe Exotic (Santa Rosa County Jail via AP)

Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as Joe Exotic (Santa Rosa County Jail via AP)

A US federal judge in Oklahoma has awarded ownership of the zoo made famous in Netflix’s Tiger King docuseries to Joe Exotic’s chief rival.

In a ruling, US District Judge Scott Palk granted control of the Oklahoma zoo that was previously run by Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as Joe Exotic, to Big Cat Rescue Corp.

The Florida group was founded by Carole Baskin, who also featured prominently in the hit Netflix series.

Maldonado-Passage is currently serving a 22-year federal prison term for killing five tigers and plotting to have Ms Baskin killed.

Ms Baskin previously sued Maldonado-Passage for trademark and copyright infringements and won a one million US dollar civil judgment against him.

Mr Palk’s judgment on Monday found that ownership of the zoo was fraudulently transferred to Maldonado-Passage’s mother in an attempt to avoid paying the judgment.

The decision said the zoo animals must be removed from the property within 120 days but it does not detail what should happen to them.

Lawyers representing Big Cat Rescue Corp did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Maldonado-Passage remains incarcerated in Fort Worth, Texas.

In a handwritten letter posted Monday on Twitter, he repeated his plea for a presidential pardon.

PA