Erik Cowie Biography – Age, Wife, Career, Tiger King & Cause of Death


Erik Cowie was famously known as the zookeeper on Netflix’s quirky animal documentary series “Tiger King,”.

Cowie appeared on the reality show as one of star Joe Exotic’s longtime animal caretakers, now incarcerated. After 58-year-old Joe was sent to jail, Cowie stayed and cared for his big cats at the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park. He later testified against the animal breeder that he allegedly abused and killed some of his animals.

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Erik Cowie was 53 years old. Authorities found Cowie’s body on September 3 in New York City, TMZ reported after a friend found him face down in a bedroom. It is unclear why the animal trainer was in the Big Apple, as he lived in Oklahoma. No drugs were found at the scene and a toxicology report is expected.


Many fans have speculated in the past that Cowie’s crooked teeth were due to methamphetamine use. He denied that rumor and once said that the bad pearly whites on him were due to old age. He received dental implants in July 2020 from fellow “Tiger King” star Jeff Lowe. Cowie had admitted to having a drinking problem in the past and, according to TMZ, previously said that he was “at the end of [his his] rope” with his alcoholism before meeting Joe.


Erik never spoke about his relationship. But there were reports he was married but kept his relationship private.

Cause of Death

‘Tiger King’ star Erik Cowie, who was a zookeeper on the Netflix series, was found dead while lying face down on a bed inside a residence in New York City on Friday night, September 3. . He was 53 years old. It was not immediately clear what Cowie was doing in New York, as he resides in Oklahoma. The reports cited that “there was nothing suspicious in the death” and that “no drugs were found at the scene”, however a toxicology test is likely to be performed.

Erik Cowie, who made several appearances on last year’s hit Netflix show ‘Tiger King’ as one of Joe Exotic’s animal keepers, has admitted to having a drinking problem in the past. Cowie previously said that he was “at the end of (his) rope” with his drinking problems before encountering Joe Exotic’s ‘Tiger King’. Earlier this year, Cowie even received a DUI in Oklahoma after a car accident. Cowie pleaded guilty and was scheduled to be sentenced later, but never showed up for his hearing.

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