The animal keeper is known for appearing on the Netflix docuseries.
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Tiger King zookeeper Erik Cowie has died at age 52.

The zookeeper and one of the stars of the Netflix documentary series who worked closely with Joe Exotic was found dead in a residence in New York City on Friday evening, police officials told News 4 New York.

While the New York Police Department declined to identify the deceased man, it gave EW the following statement: "On September 3, 2021 at 1730 hours, police responded to a 911 call of an unconscious male inside of 21 East 55 Street in the confines of the 67 Pct. Upon arrival, police discovered a 52-year-old male unconscious in the bedroom of the location. EMS was on scene and pronounced the male deceased. The Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death."

Additionally, TMZ reported there was nothing suspicious about Cowie's death and no drugs were found on the scene, though a toxicology test will likely still be performed.

Erik Cowie in Tiger King
Tiger King' zookeeper Erik Cowie's cause of death revealed by chief medical examiner
| Credit: Netflix

Despite working for Exotic for years, Cowie testified against his former boss for abusing and killing animals during the Tiger King star's trial for violating federal regulations that protected exotic animals. Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was also convicted of hiring someone to murder rival Carole Baskin in Florida. He's currently serving a 22-year prison sentence.

Cowie has previously admitted to having a drinking problem, stating that he was "at the end of [his] rope" with his drinking problems before finding Exotic. Earlier this year, Cowie got into a car accident in Oklahoma and was charged with a DUI. Although he pleaded guilty, he failed to show up to his hearing.

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