Tiger King: Carole Baskin says she’s receiving death threats because of Netflix show

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Tiger King star Carole Baskin (Netflix)
Tiger King star Carole Baskin (Netflix)

Carole Baskin and her husband have accused Tiger King producers of “betrayal” in their first interview since Netflix released the show.

The animal rights activist, whose rivalry with controversial figure Joe Exotic comprises a large chunk of the docuseries, has said she’s received several death threats from strangers who have somehow discovered her phone number.

Baskin, who is known locally to rush to the aide of injured animals, says she has received many prank calls from people she believes could be trying to do her harm, and is now unable to ride her bike to work.

“There’s almost no way to describe the intensity of the feeling of betrayal,” Howard Baskin told Tampa Bay Times, with Carole revealing she trusted the makers because of their history working in animal protection.

However, it was to Baskin’s surprise that an entire episode focused on the case of her ex-husband Don Lewis and Exotic’s allegation that Baskin killed and fed him to her tigers.

The theory has become to centre of Twitter jokes and memes, which Baskin said concerns her.

“[Viewers] saw those cubs being dragged away from their mother. Where are those memes? Where are those comments?”

Tiger King co-producer Eric Goode responded to Baskin’s earlier criticism, by telling Los Angeles Times: “Carole talked about her personal life, her childhood, abuse from her first and second husband, the disappearance of her ex, Don Lewis. … She certainly wasn’t coerced.”

Baskin claims she thought the details she provided were going to be used for background context only.

She also accused documentary makers of reflecting her work at Big Cat Sanctuary incorrectly.

One moment sees her talking to the camera in front of a lion named Joseph who seems to be trapped in a tight enclosure, but Baskin said he was in there by choice and was able to walk out whenever he wanted.

Major animal welfare charities have corroborated Baskin’s claims, with Debbie Leahy, senior strategist of captive wildlife at the Humane Society, stating: “We hold Big Cat Rescue and the Baskins in highest regard. Not many sanctuaries do rescue and advocacy and Big Cat Rescue does both and they do them very well.”

Exotic is serving a 22-year prison sentence for hiring someone to kill Baskin as well as for killing tigers to make space at his nature park in Oklahoma.

A brand new episode, titled Tiger King and I, has been released on Netflix showing several faces from the series – including Erik Cowie and John Reinke – discussing their views on Exotic.

TV producer Rick Kirkham also can be seen coming forward with a disturbing alleged story about Exotic that didn’t make it into the documentary.

Find a transcript of everything that was said about Exotic in the new episode here,

Netflix and representatives for Goode and co-producer Rebecca Chaiklin have bee contacted for comment.

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