At the start of the pandemic in 2020, Netflix’s ‘Tiger King’ took the world by storm, providing an off-the-rails experience and a peek into the world of exotic animal trading and private zoos. The show is now back with its second season, ‘Tiger King 2,’ a follow-up on Joe Exotic and the others featured in the documentary. Carole Baskin, who had a long-running conflict with Joe, is also mentioned in the second season. So, let’s find out where Carole might be today then, shall we?
Carole Baskin’s Tiger King Journey
Carole was born in Bexar County, Texas, in 1961. After marrying Don Lewis, her second husband, in 1991, she worked with him and later founded an animal sanctuary for big cats in Tampa, Florida. Now, Carole is also the Chief Executive Officer of the sanctuary, which has been renamed Big Cat Rescue. Season 1 of ‘Tiger King’ charted Carole’s years-long feud with Joe Exotic, who was then the owner of GW Zoo in Wynnewood, Oklahoma.
Their conflict began in 2009 when Carole began emailing establishments that hosted Joe’s cub-petting shows. When this affected Joe’s livelihood, he went on the offensive. Throughout the documentary, Joe was constantly seen harassing Carole and leveling threats against her. She then sued Joe for trademark infringement in 2013 in relation to the Big Cat Rescue logo that Joe had manipulated for his own use.
Joe had also claimed that Carole was responsible for the disappearance of Don in 1997. Joe’s theory was that she fed Don’s body to tigers. Carole had always maintained that she had nothing to do with Don vanishing, and she has not been charged in relation to the case either. Eventually, Joe was sent to prison because of a murder-for-hire plot against Carole. After the documentary’s release, Carole also stated that she felt betrayed by her portrayal on the show, adding, “I just feel so angry that people have totally missed the point. And the point is these cubs are being abused and exploited, and the public is enabling that.”
Carole further stated that she talked about Don’s disappearance and Joe Exotic because she was told by the producers the information would only be used “as background context — not as the main thrust of the series.” However, she felt that it became one of the focal points of the series. After the first season premiered, Carole claimed that she received death threats and had people calling her a murderer.
Where is Carole Baskin Now?
Carole was quite critical of the first season post its release, later adding, “It was really hard because I couldn’t understand why people hated somebody who was going after animal abusers. I thought people loved animals, and I didn’t really realize how the script had been so twisted to make people have such a false opinion.” She was also not a part of the second season, calling the first one “a reality show dumpster fire.”
In November 2021, Carole and her husband, Howard, sued Netflix and Royal Goode Productions, hoping to block footage related to the two of them and Big Cat Rescue from being aired in the second season. However, a judge denied the motion. Today, Carole still lives in Tampa with Howard and runs the sanctuary. She also has a new documentary on Discovery+ called ‘Carole Baskin’s Cage Fight’ that she maintains accurately portrays what they do at Big Cat Rescue.
Read More: Where is Tim Stark Now?