Tiger King star Erik Cowie is dead at 53: The zookeepers was found in a bed in New York City


Tiger King star Erik Cowie is dead at 53: Zookeeper who worked for Joe Exotic was found ‘face down in a bed’ in NYC… months after Oklahoma DUI

  • On Tuesday it was reported that Tiger King star Erik Cowie had died 
  • He had been found dead while face down in a bed inside a residence in NYC
  • Police discovered the body on Friday evening but there was ‘nothing suspicious about the death’ according to TMZ
  • The animal keeper worked for Joe for years but testified against him later
  • Exotic is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for a plot to kill his rival 

A Tiger King star has passed away.

On Tuesday it was reported that Erik Cowie, who was a zookeeper on the hit Netflix series, had been found dead while face down in a bed inside a residence in New York City on Friday evening. 

The TV veteran must have been visiting the city as he usually resides in Oklahoma.

Gone too soon: Tiger King star Erik Cowie was found dead while face down in a bed inside a residence in New York City on Friday evening

Cat person: Cowie became famous for starring with Joe Exotic on the Netflix show from 2020.

Cat person: Cowie became famous for starring with Joe Exotic on the Netflix show from 2020.

TMZ added that there was ‘nothing suspicious about the death’ and ‘no drugs were found on the scene.’

A toxicology test will likely still be performed, the site added.

In the past Cowie had admitted to having a drinking problem.

Cowie previously said that he was ‘at the end of (his) rope’ with his drinking problems before finding Joe. 

Earlier this year he got a DUI in Oklahoma after a car accident. 

He pleaded guilty and was set to be sentenced sometime after, but failed to show up for his hearing.

Though people suspected his jagged teeth were due to meth use, he told people his poor choppers are just due to old age. 

Cowie became famous for starring with animal wrangler-turned-felon Joe Exotic on the Netflix show.

Erik worked as one of the main animal caretakers, often cited as head guardian of the big cats. 

Animal instincts: Erik worked as an animal caretaker who looked after several big cats. He had been at the zoo for many years and even stayed on after Joe was incarcerated

Animal instincts: Erik worked as an animal caretaker who looked after several big cats. He had been at the zoo for many years and even stayed on after Joe was incarcerated

Behind bars: Exotic - real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage - is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for attempting to hire someone to kill rival Carole Baskin

Behind bars: Exotic – real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage – is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for attempting to hire someone to kill rival Carole Baskin 

He had been at the zoo for many years and even stayed on after Joe was incarcerated.

But Erik and Joe did not have the best relationship as Cowie testified against Joe for abusing and killing some of his zoo animals, which led to Joe’s conviction. 

In addition to the animal abuse convictions which Cowie’s testimony helped secure, Exotic – real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage – is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for attempting to hire someone to kill rival Carole Baskin.

In June, animal activist/Dancing With The Stars alum Baskin sold the Oklahoma property where Exotic’s Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park once stood. It fetched a mere $140,000.

The sale also came with one huge stipulation: the new owners are prohibited from using the property ‘to house exotic animals of any kind — or as a zoo, wildlife park or menagerie’ for the next 100 years, according to TMZ. 

Sweet revenge: In June, animal activist/Dancing With The Stars alum Baskin sold the Oklahoma property where Exotic's Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park once stood. It fetched a mere $140,000

Sweet revenge: In June, animal activist/Dancing With The Stars alum Baskin sold the Oklahoma property where Exotic’s Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park once stood. It fetched a mere $140,000 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk