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Two days before the new season of "Tiger King" premiered on Netflix, Carole Baskin hosted a Reddit AMA to answer some of our biggest questions, including what she thinks happened to her missing husband.
Baskin, an animal rights activist and owner of the Big Cat Rescue sanctuary in Tampa, became the target of an attempted murder-for-hire plot orchestrated by the flamboyant "Tiger King" star, Joseph Maldonado-Passage, better known as Joe Exotic. He's currently incarcerated in a Texas federal prison for his crimes.
“Hey, all you cool cats and kittens – it’s Carole Baskin,” Baskin greeted her fans on Reddit with her trademark salutation. She included an image of herself dressed in her signature cat prints and floral headpiece. In the photo, she held up a note that said, “Ask me anything. Yup, even that!”
Exotic peddled the unfounded rumor that Baskin was behind her former husband’s 1997 disappearance, alleging that she murdered Don Lewis and fed him to her exotic cats. The whereabouts of Don Lewis and his business interests in Costa Rica are the primary focus of “Tiger King 2,” which premiered on Nov. 17 on Netflix.
One Redditor asked what she thought happened to her husband.
“Don loved to fly and was looking to buy ultralights and experimental planes,” Baskin started. “I believe Don crashed a small experimental plane or ultralight into the Gulf for a number of reasons.”
The reasons, she explained, have been addressed on her website.
“He wasn’t licensed to fly yet did it all the time. He couldn’t file a flight plan and had to take off from closed airports to evade detection,” Baskin claimed. “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-down drafts that will crash you at the height.”
“Tiger King 2” investigates theories ranging from Baskin killing her husband to seedy business deals gone wrong in Costa Rica. The show also explores the possibility that Don Lewis is still alive.
“Since phone records indicated he was planning to go to Texas, and his van was found at a small, private airstrip, and we have never found Don or wreckage, I think this was the most likely scenario,” Baskin concluded.
Carole hosted the AMA (ask me anything) weeks after she and her current husband, Howard Baskin, tried and failed to stop Netflix and producers from airing season two on the grounds that they didn’t give permission for their likenesses to be used in a show that focused more on Joe Exotic than on animal welfare.
Animal welfare is something Baskin focuses on in her new show.
Baskin plugged the new series, “Carole Baskin’s Cage Fight” on Discovery+, which premiered on Nov. 13. The show addresses issues of animal abuse because Baskin won’t be “distracted by the lies spread by her enemies.”
“Carol Baskin’s Cage Fight is the real story of the work we have been doing at Big Cat Rescue to end the practice of breeding big cats for life in cages,” Baskin said on Reddit. “It’s the reason the animal abusers hate me and life about me.”
Other questions at Baskin’s AMA varied between her animal rescues, her wardrobe, and whether or not she enjoys the true crime genre.
“I love a good mystery,” said Baskin. “I just wish the main one in my life had been solved by now.”
“Tiger King 2” is now available for streaming on Netflix.
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