'Tiger King' zookeeper Erik Cowie dead at 53

Fox News Flash top Entertainment headlines 09/07

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Erik Cowie, the zookeeper and one of the stars of “Tiger King,” has died. He was reportedly 53 years old. 

TMZ reported that Cowie was found dead on Sept. 3 in New York City.

Meanwhile, cops confirmed to Fox News that the police responded to an emergency call of “an unconscious male inside of 21 East 55 Street in the confines of the 67 Pct.”

The man was in the bedroom of the location. “EMS was on scene and pronounced the male deceased. The Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death,” the authorities said.

There were no drugs reportedly found at the scene. 

Erik Cowie was found dead in New York on Sept. 3. 
(Netflix )

Cowie lived in Oklahoma and was part of the popular Netflix docuseries about Joe Exotic (real name Joe Maldonado-Passage) and his exotic animal zoo. 

In the doc, Cowie said he found the job on Craiglist and was desperate for work. 

Cowie was one of the animal caretakers at the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park and testified against Exotic, who is currently serving 22 years in a Texas prison after being found guilty of hiring two hitmen in a failed murder-for-hire against his big cat zoo rival, Carole Baskin.

Cowie also said in court he witnessed Exotic’s alleged mistreatment of the animals and confirmed Exotic killed some of the older big cats to make room for new ones. 

Per TMZ, Cowie was arrested for DUI after a car accident in Oklahoma in May. He pleaded guilty and was supposed to show up in court for sentencing but never did. 

After “Tiger King” went viral, Cowie also got a new set of teeth. 

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