Baskin says she’s gotten death threats, prank calls and drone flyovers since the series dropped.
Hey all you cool cats and kittens, Carole Baskin has something to say.
The woman at the center of “Tiger King,” Netflix’s now-infamous docuseries about warring tiger habitat owners in America, is speaking out. While she has written at length about her issues with the series on her website, she just did her first interview since its release with the Tampa Bay Times.
“I just feel so angry that people have totally missed the point,” she told the publication of the general reaction to the doc. “And the point is these cubs are being abused and exploited and the public is enabling that.”
Instead of focusing solely on the underground tiger trade and inhumane conditions at some habitats, the series dove deep into the world of Joe Maldonado-Passage, his war against Baskin and his allegations that she was responsible for the death of her husband Don Lewis, who went missing in 1997. She denies any involvement in his disappearance.
“There’s almost no way to describe the intensity of the feeling of betrayal,” Carole’s husband Howard Baskin continued. “They saw those cubs being dragged away from their mother. Where are those memes? Where are those comments?”
She told the Times she’s received death threats since the show’s March 20th drop, claiming there have been drones flying over their home and a growing number of people spotted outside the habitat’s gates, despite it being closed. She said she’s also been inundated with prank phone calls and can no longer tell the difference between people hoping for her help and those pulling her leg.
“I’ve had to turn my phone off,” she said. “I can’t tell the real ones from the fake ones because they’re always out of state numbers anyway.”
Baskin, who was seen enjoying many a bike ride around her property in the documentary, said she also cut back on doing that as well. According to her, people have been waiting for her and filming her on her rides, with one woman yelling, “That’s her, that’s her.”
While it’s clear she has some regrets about doing the series after seeing the way it all turned out, she said she still hopes some good will come from the backlash she’s been getting.
“I really hope what will come of this is that law enforcement will take this seriously,” she said. “We’ve all been screaming at the top of our lungs for 20 years that this abuse was happening, and no one was listening. Now the abuse is so apparent, I hope it will encourage them to take action on it and inspire Congress to do what they can to end cub petting and private possession of big cats.”
“Tiger King” and its reunion special, “The Tiger King and I” are available on Netflix now.
You can also check out “TMZ Investigates: Tiger King – What Really Went Down?” Monday night at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.