CHARLESTOWN, Ind.–The owner of a now-defunct animal facility in southern Indiana owes PETA money.
Tim Stark used to own Wildlife in Need. The U.S. District Court of Southern Indiana has ordered him to pay PETA nearly $734,000. Stark also appeared on the Netflix show “Tiger King”.
PETA sued Stark in 2017 for violating the Endangered Species Act when it learned Stark paid a veterinarian to declaw big cats for “Tiger Baby Playtime” sessions with visitors. A judge ruled in PETA’s favor in August 2020. The money will cover PETA’s attorneys’ fees and other legal expenses.
The court previously issued a partial summary judgment in PETA’s favor, resulting in the transfer of 25 Big Cats from Wildlife in Need and another facility owned by a partner of Stark’s to approved sanctuaries. The court has also banned Stark and his ex-wife from owning or possessing any Big Cats without court approval.
PETA is also trying to collect $19,234.40 in what it says are unpaid fee awards from Stark, for a total of $753,232.
“For years, Tim Stark cruelly tore big-cat cubs away from their mothers, removed their claws, and used them as photo props to make a buck, but now the long arm of the law has caught up with him,” according to the statement. “PETA looks forward to collecting its due and warns other sleazy roadside zoos that they could be next.”