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Tiger King head zookeeper Erik Cowie says Joe Exotic should ‘die in prison – good riddance’

Josh Milton April 12, 2020
Tiger King star and head zookeeper Erik Cowie. (Screen capture via Netflix)

Tiger King star and head zookeeper Erik Cowie. (Screen capture via Netflix)

Not only has Erik Cowie not seen Tiger King – the Netflix docu-series he starred in – but he can’t for the life of him pronounce “memes”.

The streaming service did the Lord’s work Sunday by dropping a follow-up episode called The Tiger King and I.

Aggressively tall actor Joel McHale hosts the aftershow and chats to Tiger King stars.

Cowie, the head zookeeper at Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, lampooned Joe Exotic with barbed comments against the former tiger trader, now carrying out a 22-yearslong jail sentence for charges stacked-up high.

Tiger King star Erik Cowie: ‘Good riddance’ to Joe Exotic.

Cowie said since the end of the documentary, he’s been “living clean, loving Jesus”.

He admitted he has yet to watch the series and candidly chatted about his thoughts on Exotic.

McHale quizzed him on whether Exotic should be released: “No. Not no, but f*** no.

He added, laughing: “Twenty-two years doing federal time – that guy’s gonna die in there.

“Good riddance.”

Joe Exotic Tiger King: Netflix crime doc based on 'gun-toting gay redneck'
‘Tiger King’ Joe Exotic was jailed for trying to have an animal rights activist murdered. (Netflix)

Why hasn’t he watched the series? “I work,” Cowie said, noting that whenever he walks around the roadside petting zoo, mobile phones are often raised up high by locals to take photographs of him.

He also spoke transparently about how his job often involved putting big cats down, an act that haunts him to this day and is one of his biggest regrets during his time working for Exotic.

“It’s been in the back of my head,” he said.

“I think about it a lot – a lot of time when we put cats down, they used me because just my appearance or my voice [meant] I could get a cat up the side of the cage where we can dart it and tranquilise it.

“Those cats trusted me up until the end. Sometimes, I swear they’re like: ‘Dude you let me down’.”

McHale wondered whether the animals were put down for medical purposes. “Hmm – you would think,” Cowie said, “but no.”

More: Joe Exotic, netflix, Tiger King, Tiger King and I

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