‘Tiger King’ zookeeper Erik Cowie found dead at 52

Cowie had worked with Joe Exotic for years

Zookeeper Erik Cowie, who appeared in Tiger King, has been found dead in Brooklyn, New York at the age of 52.

Cowie, who had worked with Joe Exotic and offered extensive interviews about his experience in the Netflix docuseries, worked at the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma.

According to NBC New York, Cowie was found unconscious in an apartment on East 155th Street and Remsen Avenue in East Flatbush. The cause of death has not been disclosed.

After Tiger King, Cowie testified against Exotic in a legal trial after the latter was arrested for arranging a murder-for-hire plot against his rival Carole Baskin.

The zookeeper later said in a special follow-up episode of Tiger King that Exotic should remain incarcerated indefinitely.

Tiger King zookeeper Erik Cowie
Tiger King zookeeper Erik Cowie. Credit: Netflix

Calling him an “asshole”, Cowie was asked by host Joel McHale whether Exotic should ever be released from prison.

“No. Not no, but fuck no,” he replied. “22 years doing federal time — that guy’s gonna die in there. So, good riddance.”

Recalling working for Exotic, Cowie said: “It’s been in the back of my head, and I think about it a lot.” He went on to allege: “A lot of times when we put cats down, they used me because just by my appearance or my voice [meant] I could get a cat up the side of the cage where we can dart it and tranquilise it so they could be put down.”