Tiger King star Jeff Johnson dies at age 58

·Features and Health Editor
·2-min read

TRIGGER WARNING: This article discusses suicide.

Jeff Johnson, a former reptile dealer who appeared on season one of Tiger King, has died at the age of 58.

Johnson appeared on the fourth episode of the hit Netflix series, where he was seen discussing Carole Baskin.

Former reptile dealer Jeff Johnson on tiger king
Former reptile dealer Jeff Johnson appeared on season one of Tiger King. Photo: Netflix

According to People, Johnson died by suicide. Though his wife was home at the time and immediately called 911, he was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.

His death comes just days after another Tiger King personality Erik Cowie was found dead in his New York home.

Tiger King first debuted in March 2020, just at the beginning of worldwide lockdowns in response to the coronavirus pandemic, seeing it draw some 64 million household viewers in its first month.


joe exotic on tiger king on Netflix
Season two of Tiger King debuted on Netflix on November 17. Photo: Netflix

It was nominated for six prime-time Emmy awards with much of the series has focusing on a dispute between Baskin and Joseph Maldonado-Passage aka Joe Exotic over treatment of tigers, lions and other big cats at an Oklahoma zoo he formerly operated.

Season two of Tiger King debuted on Netflix on November 17.

Tiger King 2 explores the heavily debated fate of Big Cat Rescue owner Carole Baskin's ex-husband Don Lewis, who mysteriously vanished in 1997 and was later declared dead in 2002.

Now, new claims have arisen, suggesting he is still alive and living in Costa Rica.

Appearing on the UK's ITV show This Morning recently via video link from Florida, Carole addressed the speculation, saying she didn't think he would be "capable of supporting himself".

If you are concerned about the mental health of yourself or a loved one, seek support and information by calling Lifeline on 13 11 14, Mensline on 1300 789 978, or Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800.

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