BREAKING: Tiger King Zookeeper Erik Cowie Dead Aged 53
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Featured Image Credit: Netflix
Tiger King zookeeper, Erik Cowie, has died at the age of 53.
Erik, who appeared on the Netflix true crime series and worked alongside Joe Exotic at his animal park, was found face down in a bedroom in New York, according to TMZ.
His cause of death has not yet been confirmed, but it is not being treated as suspicious by law enforcement.
No drugs were found at the scene, though a toxicology report is said to be still pending.
A friend is said to have discovered Cowie in a residential room.
He usually works and lives Oklahoma.
Cowie was Joe Exotic's head zookeeper for five years, and was responsible for caring for his big cats before he was in jail.
He continued to work at the Golden Week Zoo even following Joe's jail conviction.
But he later testified against him in court, saying he had seen Joe order for some of his animals to be shot and killed - a statement which added to the infamous criminal's eventual conviction.
Cowie was outspoken about the fact that the animals at the zoo were always his main priority, while speaking in interviews on the show.
Joe Exotic was convicted of 17 charges of animal abuse as well as the two counts of attempted murder for hire for his plan to kill rival, Carole Baskin.
And since his arrest, Cowie has remained defiant in his stance about his former boss, who is serving a 22-year sentence in Fort Worth, Texas.
When quizzed on whether he should be released from jail early, when speaking to Joel McHale for The Tiger King and I, he said: "No. Not no, but f*** no.
"22 years doing federal time – that guy’s gonna die in there. Good riddance."
Discussing the way he was often forced to treat the animals in his care, he pondered in the reunion special: “Those cats trusted me up until the end. Sometimes, I swear they’re like ‘Dude you let me down’”
More to follow...