13 Investigates


Magic Murray on his connection to Tiger King's Jeff Lowe

Could tigers return to a show on the strip?
Magic Murray visits with friend Jeff Lowe of Tiger King notoriety
Magic Murray visits with friend Jeff Lowe of Tiger King notoriety
Magic Murray visits with friend Jeff Lowe of Tiger King notoriety
Magic Murray visits with friend Jeff Lowe of Tiger King notoriety
Magic Murray visits with friend Jeff Lowe of Tiger King notoriety
Magic Murray visits with friend Jeff Lowe of Tiger King notoriety
Magic Murray visits with friend Jeff Lowe of Tiger King notoriety
Magic Murray visits with friend Jeff Lowe of Tiger King notoriety
Magic Murray holds tiger cub with Jeff Lowe of Tiger King notoriety
Posted at 1:35 PM, Jun 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-01 16:36:25-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV — As the Las Vegas strip reopens, the pressure will be on to bring people back -- that means creating an "Only in Vegas" opportunity.

Magician Murray SawChuck recently floated an idea.

"Obviously, Roy passed away and I said 'What do you think about bringing tigers back to Vegas?'"

He asked that question to his friend of five years, Jeff Lowe, who's been basking in the spotlight lately thanks to the hit Netflix documentary series, Tiger King.

"This Tiger King show has been the biggest thing on TV since, I don't know, since the O.J. [Simpson] scandal," said Murray.

Lowe's Las Vegas reputation leaves a lot to be desired.

As we reported in 2018, he was essentially run out of town after city authorities confiscated two cubs and a lemur, charging Lowe with violations for having unpermitted animals and no business license.

Our investigation revealed how Lowe illegally used animals as money-makers -- selling photo ops, even rolling the cubs in suitcases into suites on the strip for pricey private parties.

After years of outstanding warrants, he's due to enter a guilty plea in Las Vegas municipal court in mid-July.

"And we were joking about maybe we should bring tigers back to Las Vegas," Murray recounted from his recent visit with Lowe. "And I was like, 'Yeah, that would be great, as long as we do it right.'"

Animal advocate Linda Faso says there is no way to do it right.

"If we haven't learned anything from what happened to Siegfried and Roy on stage, then it's sad because these animals are not performers, they're predators. That's what they do. Tigers are a stick of dynamite and you never know what's going to set them off."

"What the heck are you doing aligning yourself with a guy like Jeff Lowe?" Darcy Spears asked Murray. "This guy can't abide by the law if it's staring him in the face."

"One hundred percent," Murray responded. "And you know, the Jeff Lowe that I know isn't the Jeff Lowe that I've seen reported and, you know, the paperwork of warrants and stuff like that."

But there’s no magician who can make those problems disappear.

"I'm not denying that he doesn't have that, but it's not the person I've known for five years and who takes care of animals, at least in my presence. And I've seen him a lot."

What he didn't see when he visited Lowe in Oklahoma were scenes captured exclusively by DailyMail.com and shared with 13 investigates.

The Greater Wynnewood Wild Animal Park -- recently renamed Tiger King park to capitalize on the Netflix-fueled notoriety -- hosted crowds of people right after Oklahoma's closure order was lifted.

Most visitors were not wearing masks and not social distancing as they sat shoulder to shoulder, passing around the same tiger cub.

As we know, tigers are susceptible to the coronavirus.

"I understand wanting to touch these beautiful baby animals," said Faso, "but the price they have to pay down the road..."

The tiger and liliger Las Vegas officials seized are paying the price of lifelong medical conditions.

They're being cared for at a sanctuary in Pahrump, and so is Lowe's lemur.

A TikTok video posted by @becca_nicole, recorded a few years ago before Las Vegas Animal Control seized the lemur, is purportedly from a party at a Las Vegas home.

It shows Lowe giving the lemur a drink out of a liquor bottle cap.

When asked what the lemur is drinking, Lowe replies, "I'm just giving him a little shot of Fireball."

Fireball is cinnamon-flavored whiskey.

If the lemur is actually drinking what Lowe claims...

"That looks abusive to me," said Darcy Spears.

"That would be abusive," Murray agreed.

And Murray says he would never stand for animal abuse of any kind.

"I've worked with tigers before at America's Got Talent and a couple other TV shows as well, and for me and anyone who knows who I am, I'm a huge animal advocate-rescuing animals and how they're treated."

Murray says he traveled to Oklahoma to shoot a video for his YouTube channel.

Exclusive photos he shared with 13 Investigates show just how up close and personal he got with Lowe's animals.

"It would be kind of fun to bring tigers back to Vegas and I said yeah, but I don't think -- I think it's impossible," Murray said. "First of all, how do we treat an animal correctly in Vegas? You'd need 50 acres behind the casino just to have their lifestyle comfortable."

"Will Jeff Lowe be willing to suddenly change his stripes, so to speak, and abide by laws? Did that part of the conversation come up?" Spears asked.

"No, not at all," SawChuck replied.

He said the talk of tigers taking the stage in our desert town was just that. Talk. Nothing serious.

"I have no intention of doing that," said Murray. "I'm a comedian magician. I made a joke as we were walking around that we should bring them back and it was a joke. Nothing more, nothing less."

Magic Murray says his YouTube videos will include some startling revelations.

He says he was shocked by what he learned.

That series debuts on his YouTube channel on June 3.

Jeff Lowe did not respond to requests for comment for this story.

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