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Carole Baskin’s ‘dead’ husband found alive last year — but no one noticed

“Hey all you cool cats and kittens,” Carole Baskin’s husband isn’t dead after all.

The “Tiger King” star ex-husband, Don Lewis, has been found alive in Costa Rica, but the discovery is just now going viral — over a year later.

During a November 2021 interview with ITV’s “This Morning” talk show, Baskin, 61, revealed that her ex, who was declared legally dead in 2002 after disappearing a few years before, is actually alive and well.

The Big Cat Rescue owner alleged that the Department of Homeland Security has been in touch with her former lover.

“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,” Baskin told the outlet at the time.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
Carole Baskin has appeared in a viral TikTok video set to a song that claims she killed her missing husband, Don Lewis.
Carole Baskin has appeared in a viral TikTok video set to a song that claims she killed her missing husband, Don Lewis.

She continued, revealing, “And they said that my husband, Don Lewis, is alive and well in Costa Rica.”

Lewis has not made any public statements debunking rumors that he had died.

And, even though the news is over a year old, people are just starting to pay attention to it now thanks to now-viral social media posts.

“Was I the only one that didn’t know they found Carole Baskin’s husband living his best life in Costa Rica?!” someone wrote on Twitter.

Another wrote, “Hold on, I’m seeing people saying that Carole Baskin’s husband was found ALIVE???”

During the hit Netflix docu-series which premiered at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, Baskin revealed that her ex-husband had mysteriously disappeared in 1997. At the time of his disappearance, the two were married, and she claimed that she never heard from him again, according to CBS News.

She has since gotten remarried, having wed Howard Baskin in 2004.

Carole Baskin's ex-husband has been found alive, according to her.
Carole Baskin’s ex-husband has been found alive, according to her.
Getty Images for NightFly Entert

After Baskin shared her story on the series that chronicled the trials and tribulations of incarcerated big-cat keeper, Joseph Maldonado-Passage, many people thought that Baskin had something to do with her ex’s disappearance. Some even launched into some crazy conspiracy theories, including a ludicrous claim that she was involved in a murder-for-hire plot. Joe Exotic also alleged that she had fed her ex to the tigers at Big Cat Rescue.

Baskin was so traumatized by it all that she joined a “secret” support group for celebrities going through the same thing.

This undated file photo provided by the Santa Rose County Jail in Milton, Fla., shows Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as Joe Exotic. A federal judge in Oklahoma has set a Jan. 28, 2022,
Joe Exotic is currently in the middle of serving a 21- year sentence.
Santa Rosa County Jail via AP, File

Lewis’ family also thought that Baskin was involved in his disappearance, as they aired a commercial during her 2020 debut on “Dancing With The Stars,” asking the public for answers and tips.

“Do you know who did this or if Carole Baskin was involved?” family lawyer John Phillips said during the commercial.

However, Baskin has vehemently denied those claims.

“I believe their actions are just a publicity stunt,” the owner of Big Cat Rescue said in an email to CNN after the commercial was aired, “but if it helps us find Don, then that will be a huge relief.”

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