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Judge orders wildlife center proprietor featured in 'Tiger King' to pay PETA legal fees

Posted at 5:14 PM, Jun 16, 2021

CHARLESTOWN, Ind. — A federal judge has ordered the former proprietor of a southern Indiana wildlife center and his ex-wife to pay People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals more than $700,000 in attorney’s fees stemming from its successful lawsuit alleging violations of the Endangered Species Act.

The judge ruled Monday that Timothy Stark and his ex-wife, Melisa Lane, must pay PETA nearly $734,000 to cover attorney fees and expenses.

Stark gained attention last year as one of the people featured in the Netflix true-crime series “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness.”

Stark and Lane helped run the Wildlife in Need facility in Charlestown, Indiana, along the Kentucky border.

TheCourier Journalof Louisville, Kentucky reports the judge ruled last August that Wildlife in Need, Stark, and Lane had violated the Endangered Species Act, in part by declawing tigers, lions, and hybrids.

As part of that ruling, more than two dozen big cats were transferred from Stark and former business partner Jeff Lowe, who was also featured on "Tiger King," and taken to other wildlife sanctuaries.