Tiger King's Carole Baskin breaks silence after bizarre claim her 'dead' husband Don Lewis is alive resurfaces | The Sun

Tiger King's Carole Baskin breaks silence after bizarre claim her 'dead' husband Don Lewis is alive resurfaces | The Sun

01/19/2023

TIGER King star Carole Baskin has broken her silence after claims that her husband is alive resurfaced.

In recent days, claims that Carole's millionaire spouse Don Lewis – who was legally declared dead in 2002 – is actually "alive and well" in Costa Rica have gone viral.


The claim was initially made in the second series of Tiger King and then spoken about by Carole shortly after in an interview with ITV's This Morning.

She told the show: "One of the really exciting things that came out of ‘Tiger King 2’ is that they produced a letter from Homeland Security and it says that a special agent in charge with the FBI at Homeland Security reached out to the sheriff’s detective George Fernandez, which means this had to have happened after 2002 because Homeland Security wasn’t even around until 2002."

She added: "They said that my husband, Don Lewis, is alive and well in Costa Rica.

"And yet all this hay has been made about me having something to do with his disappearance when Homeland Security has known where he is, at least since back then."

Now, over one year later, Carole is sticking to that claim.

"I was not aware of it until TK2 aired in November 2021," Baskin told The Sun upon hearing that the news had once again gone viral.

Lewis went missing in August 1997 after reportedly informing her he was heading to Costa Rica.

His truck was later found abandoned at a private airfield 40 miles from the big cat sanctuary he ran with his wife near Tampa, Florida.

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Although his pilot's license had been revoked, Lewis knew how to fly a plane and owned several light aircraft.

But there is no record of him taking any flight – and his credit cards have never been used since.

The document shown in Tiger King 2 claims that Lewis "owns property in Costa Rica and has traveled regularly."

It also claims that Baskin filed a missing person's report with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office in Tampa in August 1997, stating that "her husband had disappeared."

The document also claims that "a van owned by Don Lewis" was located at Pilot County Estate in Pasco County, Florida.

It went on to report that Lewis has since "loaned money to various individuals in Costa Rica and could live quite well on the interest earned."

Baskin said at the time that she was "glad to hear" Lewis was alive as she "didn’t think he was capable of supporting himself."

She alleged that he had taken around $1million with him before he left to "prove to himself that he could make a living."

Despite the shocking claims, Lewis has not commented publicly on the allegations.

But the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office – which is in charge of Lewis' missing person's case – said they had no idea that he had allegedly been found alive.

They still deem him a missing person and told TMZ they have had no communication with federal officials to suggest they've located the missing businessman.

Baskin and Lewis started an animal sanctuary together in Tampa, Florida, which later became Big Cat Rescue Corporation.

The pair were married at the time of his disappearance – but he had filed for a restraining order against her two months earlier.

Theories about what happened to Lewis formed part of the hit series Tiger King, including suggestions that Baskin, who received most of his $6million estate, was responsible for his disappearance.

Baskin has denied having any involvement in his mysterious departure or rumored death.

In the docuseries, Oklahoma zoo keeper Joe Exotic accused Baskin of killing her ex-husband and feeding him to her tigers.

The theory was also pushed by Lewis' children.

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Exotic is currently serving 22 years in prison for his role in a murder-for-hire plot against Baskin – and in June 2020, his Oklahoma-based Greater Wynnewood Zoo was relinquished to her.

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