‘Tiger King’ star Jeff Johnson dies aged 58

The former reptile dealer appeared in the Netflix show’s first season

Jeff Johnson, who appeared in Netflix’s hit documentary series Tiger King, has died aged 58.

The former reptile dealer died after taking his own life in front of his wife in September, Oklaholma police told TMZ.

An incident report obtained by the publication states Johnson was arguing with his wife in their garage when he attempted to take his own life.

According to the report, his wife called 911 and Johnson had a pulse when paramedics arrived. Johnson was later pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.

Jeff Johnson Tiger King
Jeff Johnson in ‘Tiger King’ CREDIT: Netflix

His wife reportedly noted that her husband had not suffered from mental illness and had never attempted suicide in the past.

Johnson featured briefly in the fourth episode of Tiger King’s first season, where he discusses his past friendship with the documentary’s subject, Joe Exotic, and shared his views on animal rights activist Carole Baskin.

In the show, he explains how his friendship with Exotic deteriorated when new business partner Jeff Lowe came into the picture, who took over the zoo from Exotic in 2016.

Exotic is serving a 22-year prison sentence after he was convicted for a murder-to-hire plot against rival Carole Baskin, and for acts of animal cruelty.

In September, former zoo keeper Erik Cowie, who also appeared in the series, died aged 53 after being found in Brooklyn, New York.

A second season of Tiger King was recently released on Netflix.

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