‘Tiger King’ animal caretaker Erik Cowie dead at 54: Report


In this Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, file photo, one of the tigers living at the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park is pictured at the park in Wynnewood, Okla. The animals were moved to a different zoo called, Tiger King-Zoo in Thackerville, Okla. Federal authorities have seized 68 big cats from Netflix’s “Tiger King” stars Jeffrey and Lauren Lowe’s animal park in Thackerville. The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Thursday, May 20, 2021, the seizure of the federally protected lions, tigers, lion-tiger hybrids and a jaguar. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

(WJW) — Audiences got to know zookeeper Erik Cowie through the dramatic documentary series “Tiger King.” Today, TMZ has confirmed that Cowie has died at the age of 54.

Officials reported to the outlet that Cowie was found facedown on Friday in a New York City residence, TMZ said.

A toxicology report has yet to be done, but no foul play is suspected in the longtime animal caretaker’s death.

Cowie had stayed on at the Oklahoma tiger zoo even after its former owner Joe Exotic was put in prison. However, the space is now closed to the public.

FILE – In this Aug. 28, 2013, file photo, Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as Joe Exotic, answers a question during an interview at the zoo he runs in Wynnewood, Okla. The Oklahoma zoo, featured in Netflix’s “Tiger King” documentary, has closed after federal authorities investigated it for alleged maltreatment of animals and suspended its license. The Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park closed to the public after the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, suspended the exhibitor license for current-owner Jeff Lowe for 21 days.(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

Cowie had reportedly gotten a DUI earlier this year and then not showed up for court, resulting in a warrant for his arrest. Cowie had admitted to having a drinking problem before being on the “Tiger King” series.

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