NC tiger rescue caring for 4 big cats seized from ‘Tiger King’ park

PITTSBORO, N.C. — Four big cats seized from an animal park in Oklahoma that’s operated by one of the stars of the Netflix show “Tiger King” have found a new home in North Carolina.

Carolina Tiger Rescue posted on its Facebook page Tuesday saying that it is one of the organizations that took part in the Justice Department’s seizure of 68 protected big cats from Jeffrey and Lauren Lowe’s Tiger King Park in Thackerville, Oklahoma last week.

The animals rescued included lions, tigers, lion-tiger hybrids and a jaguar, according to authorities.

Carolina Tiger Rescue, which is located in Pittsboro, said it is caring for four of the big cats while the Justice Department seeks permanent forfeiture of the animals.

Federal officials said the animals were removed from the Lowes’ care due to Endangered Species Act violations.

The animal park had been inspected three times so far this year and the couple had been cited for not giving the animals proper veterinary care, shelter or nutrition, the Justice Department said in a statement.

In an affidavit, investigators detail allegations of disturbing conditions they documented for some of the big cats -- observing some who showed signs of high anxiety and stress, with several losing their fur and showing signs of weight loss, while others had signs of untreated wounds.

A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent also said that the park did not have a specialized big cat veterinarian.

Carolina Tiger Rescue said that while the cats are in its care, they will receive the best in veterinary care, diets, daily enrichment and enclosure space and design.

“We are glad to see the Department of Justice working hard to better the lives of big cats in captivity, beginning with Tiger King Park,” said Pam Fulk, Executive Director of Carolina Tiger Rescue. “We thank everyone who was involved in this operation.”

The animals had previously lived at a zoo run by Joseph Maldonado-Passage, aka “Joe Exotic,” in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. The Lowes took over the zoo and moved the cats to a new facility in Thackerville last year.

Maldonado-Passage is in prison serving 22 years for violating federal wildlife laws and for his role in a failed murder-for-hire plot targeting his chief rival, Carole Baskin, who runs a rescue sanctuary for big cats in Florida.

(WATCH: Trainer featured on ‘Tiger King’ arrested for animal cruelty, wildlife trafficking)

*The Cox Media Group National Content Desk and ABC News contributed to this report