The cause of death was confirmed at Variety by Julie Bolcer at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in New York.
On September 3, Cowie, 52, was found dead in a Brooklyn apartment by “police responding to a 911 call from an unconscious man inside 21 East 55 Street within 67 Precinct” . According to the official NYPD statement, EMS was on site and declared the man dead.
Cowie was a zookeeper at Exotic’s GW Zoo in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, and was featured in Netflix’s hit “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” docuseries. He was charged with drunk driving in Oklahoma in May and spoke on the show about his drinking problems.
Even after Exotic went to jail, Cowie remained at the zoo, though his loyalty to the larger-than-life owner changed. During the trial, Cowie testified that he saw Exotic have animals killed.
During the “Tiger King” post-show “The Tiger King and I”, Cowie opened up about his regrets working with Exotic.
“A lot of times when we posed cats they would use me because just by my looks or my voice I could get a cat up to the side of a cage, where we could dart it and calm it down so that it. can be shot and stuff, ”he said. “You know these cats trusted me until the end, and somehow I sometimes swear they say to me, ‘Dude, you let me down.’ I could see it in their faces and eyes.
“Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” was a huge hit for Netflix, with the streamer claiming it was sampled by 64 million households around the world in the first month on the platform.
J. Kim Murphy contributed to this report.