Tiger King Carole Baskin
Carole Baskin appears in Netflix's "Tiger King." Netflix


  • Carole Baskin's ex-husband was declared dead in 2002 after disappearing a few years before
  • Baskin said the Department of Homeland Security has been in touch with her former spouse
  • Lewis went missing in 1997 at the age of 59

"Tiger King" star Carole Baskin's legally dead ex-husband, Don Lewis, was reportedly found alive in Costa Rica.

The alleged discovery was announced in 2021 but is just now going viral.

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

In a November 2021 interview with ITV's "This Morning" talk show, Baskin, 61, said that her ex, who was declared dead in 2002 after disappearing several years before, is actually alive and living in Costa Rica.

The animal rights activist told the New York Post that she learned about the alleged discovery via the "Tiger King" sequel series, which aired in November 2021.

Baskin alleged on "This Morning" that the Department of Homeland Security had contacted her former husband.

"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 [Jorge] Fernandez, which means this had to have happened after 2002, because Homeland Security wasn't even around until 2002," she said on the talk show at the time.

"They said my husband, Don Lewis, is alive and well in Costa Rica. And yet all of this drama has been made about me having something to do with his disappearance, when Homeland Security has known where he is," she added.

Lewis went missing in 1997 at the age of 59. He has not made any public statements as of this writing.

Baskin told ITV that she was unaware how Homeland Security found her ex-husband but that she's "glad" to hear he's allegedly alive.

"I didn't think he was capable of supporting himself. He took about a million dollars down to Costa Rica, I had agreed to let him do that so he could prove to himself that he could make a living," she added.

Baskin recovered what remained of the $1 million Lewis planned to bring to Costa Rica, but very little was left.

"It was only about $80,000 because the investments he had made were so bad. So I don't know how it is that Homeland Security says he's alive and well in Costa Rica, but I'm glad to hear it," she said.

She married her current husband Howard Baskin in 2004.

The couple wrote a blog on her Big Cats Rescue website in November 2021, questioning why the Department of Homeland Security released Lewis' alleged location to Netflix for "Tiger King" Season 2, which she did not participate in.

"Also noteworthy is the document they display from Homeland Security, which was not formed as an agency until 2002, five years after Don Lewis' disappearance, saying they had information that Don Lewis was alive in Costa Rica," they wrote at the time. "Why is this just appearing?"

Baskin filed a lawsuit in November 2021 against both Netflix and Royal Goode Productions for the alleged "unauthorized" use of film footage of the Baskins in "Tiger King 2."

She alleged that her scenes in the trailer for the sequel series were not an accurate representation of what really happened. She asked the judge to stop and block any footage of her from being used in the second season of the show, as well as to remove her from their promo materials, teasers and trailers.

The lawsuit was dropped a month later.

Carole Baskin DWTS29
Carole Baskin is competing on Season 29 of “Dancing with the Stars.” ABC/Frank Ockenfels