‘Tiger King’ Star Carole Baskin Says Missing Husband Is ‘Alive and Well’ in Costa Rica

“Tiger King” star Carole Baskin told British media in 2021 that her husband who vanished in 1997 was alive and well in Central America.

News of Don Lewis being located came to light during the latest season of Netflix’s series, which Baskin had asked to be removed from. In November 2021, Baskin told ITV’s “This Morning” that through the show, they learned from Homeland Security that Lewis was in Costa Rica.

“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 said, according to Sky News.

Don Lewis
Despite this, Lewis has never publicly spoken out regarding his disappearance and rumored death.

Around the same time as her appearance on ITV, Baskin participated in an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit in which she wrote that she believes Lewis crashed over the Gulf of Mexico while flying an ultralight or experimental plane. She alleged that Lewis did not have a license to fly, he did not file a flight plan, and he flew from closed airports to avoid being caught.

“He had to fly under 200 feet to stay off the radar which means he would typically fly out over the Gulf because the air is smoother there, whereas over land there are up and downdrafts that will crash you at the height,” she wrote.

According to Baskin, phone records suggested Lewis was en route to Texas when he vanished, and his van was located at a small private airstrip.

Lewis was last seen leaving his Tampa, Florida, home in 1997. Despite allegations made by “Tiger King” breakout star and convicted felon Joe Exotic, Hillsborough County police have said Baskin is not a suspect in her ex-husband’s unsolved disappearance. Lewis was declared legally dead in 2002.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister previously claimed that Baskin refused to take a polygraph in 2011 in connection with Lewis’ disappearance.

Not only has Baskin repeatedly denied involvement in her husband’s disappearance, but she also refuted rumors that she had him fed to cats or tigers at Big Cat Rescue, the animal sanctuary she founded.

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[Featured image: Carole Baskin/ABC/Frank Ockenfels]