AceShowbiz - Erik Cowie, a zookeeper who starred in hit Netflix reality series "Tiger King", has been found dead in New York City.
His body was discovered face down on a bed on Friday evening (03Sep21), and TMZ sources claim there was nothing suspicious about the death, adding, "No drugs were found on the scene."
Cowie, 53, had admitted to having a drinking problem and said he was "at the end of (his) rope" before he started working with "Tiger King" Joe Exotic as an animal caretaker.
He stayed on at the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma after Joe was imprisoned for attempting to kill rival Carole Baskin.
Earlier this year, Erik was charged with driving under the influence in Oklahoma after a car accident. He pleaded guilty, but failed to show up for the sentencing hearing.
Cowie did appear in court to testify against Joe Exotic, real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, accusing the "Tiger King" star of abusing and killing some of his zoo animals. The controversial reality TV star is serving a 22-year sentence after being convicted in January, 2020 of trying to hire two different men to kill animal rights activist Baskin.
Meanwhile, the Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park was awarded by a judge to Carole Baskin in her legal dispute with Joe Exotic.
She has since sold the zoo and included a special stipulation in the sale.
The new owners are "expressly barred from using the land to house exotic animals of any kind - or as a zoo, wildlife park or menagerie - for 100 years." They cannot use any name related to "Tiger King" for any new business on the property either.