Tiger King star Erik Cowie 'dies aged 53'

Tiger King star Erik Cowie 'dies aged 53'

Tiger King star Erik Cowie has reportedly died at the age of 53.

The star, who was head zookeeper at Joe Exotic’s GW Zoo, was found dead on Friday in New York City, according to TMZ.

In recent years, he had lived and worked in Oklahoma.

Cowie was best known for his appearances on the Netflix documentary, and continued working at the GW Zoo following Exotic’s arrest.

Exotic was convicted of 17 charges of animal abuse and two counts of attempted murder for hire for the plot to kill his rival, Carole Baskin.

Cowie testified against him at his trial, alleging he’d seen Exotic shoot and kill some of the animals at the zoo.

Following the main series, Cowie spoke to Joel McHale for The Tiger King and I, a reunion episode that saw the stars of the series looking back on it.

Asked if Exotic should be released from prison, he said at the time: ‘No. Not no, but f*** no.

’22 years doing federal time – that guy’s gonna die in there. Good riddance.’

He added that, since the series stopped filming, he had been ‘living clean [and] loving Jesus and hadn’t had a chance to watch the documentary yet.

His fellow Tiger King stars have not yet spoken out.

In 2016, the GW Zoo was sold to Jeff Lowe. However, in May 2020, Baskin was given ownership of the park.

In August 2020, the zoo was shut down permanently.

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