Written by CNN Staff
The iconic “tiger king” Joe Exotic, who has been jailed in Georgia after allegedly selling tigers and other exotic animals, has been sent to a North Carolina facility, the North Carolina Zoo said Wednesday.
Video courtesy 5 News Atlanta
Yuli Chen, the founder of the Animal Planet show “Exotic X,” was freed after serving a 20-month prison sentence for selling tigers and other exotic creatures from his “Exotic Zoo” business in Georgia. He was recently extradited from Cuba.
The North Carolina Zoo said Chen will be locked in the state’s maximum security prison when he arrives in Raleigh on Thursday afternoon.
Chen had expressed interest in having zoo animals at the facility.
In 2014, he transferred several tigers from his Georgia facility to the Charleston Zoo and Lewis G. Grierson Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina, after facing several felonies and misdemeanors for failing to obtain licenses to maintain the animals.
Joe Exotic’s zoo eventually shut down, but the tigers remained at the refuge, according to the sanctuary’s website. The tigers were moved to the North Carolina Zoo, where they are part of the Lewis G. Grierson Wildlife Refuge exhibit.
Chen became a fugitive in 2012 after his Georgia permit expired.
It wasn’t immediately clear where the tigers he’s receiving will go. The North Carolina Zoo said that if there is a conflict with a sanctuary, it will make arrangements to house them.