Controversial Animal Trader Files for Personal Bankruptcy
Tap to Call - (877) 250-8242

Controversial Animal Trader Joe Exotic Files for Personal Bankruptcy

April 12, 2013


Share this article



High-profile animal trader Joe Exotic is filing for personal bankruptcy protection according to a report this week from the Daily Oklahoman.

Sources say Exotic, whose birth name is Joe Schreibvogel and also goes by the names Cody Ryan and Aarron Alex, claimed to have $1.2 million in debt when he filed his bankruptcy petition. Most of this debt stems from trademark infringement lawsuit filed by Big Cat Rescue, a Florida animal sanctuary.

The sanctuary obtained a judgment six weeks ago, and a Florida judge ordered Exotic to pay nearly $1 million. According to reports, Exotic and Carole Baskin, the founder of Big Cat Rescue, have engaged in a public feud for several years due to their "philosophical differences on the exotic pet trade."

The trade of exotic pets, many of which are shipped to zoos or specialty farms, can be remarkably lucrative, as evidenced by the size of the trademark infringement settlement. Exotic, however, did not have enough cash available to cut a check for $1 million to Big Cat Rescue.

After the judge leveled the settlement, Exotic quickly found a bankruptcy attorney, according to sources. In his petition, Exotic claimed to hold roughly $127,000 worth of assets.

Most of these assets are in the form of specialized vehicles Exotic used in his animal park, the G.W. Zoo in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, which he operated from the late 1990s until earlier this year.

But Exotic relinquished control over his animal sanctuary in February, and told the bankruptcy court that he is unemployed and is "not receiving any monthly income."

In a rare occurrence for a bankruptcy filing, many of Exotic’s assets include live animals. Included among his assets are 43 tigers and five black bears, which are collectively worth an "unknown" amount of money, according to sources.

So in the next few months, a man whose life work has been to help save endangered animals will try to save his own endangered finances. And if he is able to discharge some of the debt he owes as a result of the trademark infringement lawsuit, Exotic may be soon be back on his feet, corralling some of the world's most dangerous predators.

Back to Newspaper Home

Tap to Call - (877) 250-8242

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC. All rights reserved. ® Self-help services may not be permitted in all states. The information provided on this site is not legal advice, does not constitute a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or will be formed by use of the site. The attorney listings on this site are paid attorney advertising. In some states, the information on this website may be considered a lawyer referral service. Please reference the Terms of Use and the Supplemental Terms for specific information related to your state.Your use of this website constitutes acceptance of the "Terms & Conditions", "Supplemental Terms", "Privacy Policy" and "Cookie Policy."