‘Tiger King’ zookeeper Erik Cowie found dead

NEW YORK — Erik Cowie, one of the zookeepers from the popular Netflix documentary “Tiger King,” was found dead in New York City on Sept. 3. He was 53.

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Cowie was found dead on Friday in a Brooklyn apartment, police sources told TMZ and New York Daily News.

According to the Daily News, an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

“Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” was the Netflix series that captivated the country as people were isolated in their homes at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.

Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was sentenced in January 2020 to 22 years in federal prison after being convicted of trying to hire two different men to kill animal rights activist Carole Baskin, according to the Associated Press.

During that trial, Cowie testified against Maldonado-Passage.

Maldonado-Passage is currently serving his sentence at a medical prison in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Greater Wynnewood Animal Park posted their reaction to the news on Facebook.

It comes with great sadness to say that a dear friend and hard working employee has passed away. Erik Cowie dedicated every waking moment caring for the animals at GWEAP & Tiger King Park.

—  Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park via Facebook

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The Associated Press contributed to this story.