‘Tiger King’ Zookeeper Erik Cowie Has Been Found Dead At 53

by : Poppy Bilderbeck on :
'Tiger King' Zookeeper Erik Cowie Has Been Found Dead At 53Netflix/PA Images

Erik Cowie, one of the zookeepers who used to work at Joe Exotic’s ‘Tiger King’ zoo has died aged 53.

According to reports, Cowie was found in a residence in New York City on Friday, September 3.


Cowie had worked and lived in Oklahoma in recent years, continuing to work at GW Zoo after Exotic’s arrest, and it is unclear what he was doing in New York. However, he was reportedly found in a bedroom of the residence, though it is not yet known who the residence belonged to.

The death is not considered suspicious, TMZ reports. While no drugs were found on the scene, they reported that a toxicology test will likely be ordered.

Cowie was one of Joe Exotic’s animal caretakers and featured on the famous Netflix series about the zoo. Cowie even went on to testify against the Tiger King himself, saying he had seen Joe order the shooting and killing of some of the zoo’s animals.


In January 2020, Joe Exotic, real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison. He was convicted of trying to hire two hitmen to murder animal rights activist Carole Baskin.

Film and TV

‘Tiger King’ Star Erik Cowie’s Cause Of Death Revealed

published at7 months ago

Earlier this year, Cowie was caught driving under the influence in Oklahoma after a car accident. He pleaded guilty to the offence, however he did not show up to court and an arrest warrant was subsequently issued.

Prior to working with Exotic, Cowie admitted to a one-time drinking problem, but denied using any other drugs, according to TMZ.


If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677

Most Read StoriesMost Read


Husband Of Uvalde Teacher Dies Days After Wife Was Killed Protecting Student

Topics: News, Joe Exotic, Now, Tiger King


  1. TMZ