“Tiger King” star Jeff Lowe has scrapped his plans to spread late zookeeper Erik Cowie’s ashes at the Oklahoma zoo.
Lowe previously had plans to claim his friend’s remains and spread them as part of a memorial service along with his favorite cat, who died recently as well. At the time, Lowe was looking into claiming Cowie’s remains as a family member had not come forward yet following his death.
However, Lowe tells TMZ that someone claiming to be a relative of Cowie’s had indeed come forward and collected his remains from the medical examiner in New York following his autopsy. The outlet reports that Lowe knew Cowie had children but he didn’t think they would claim his remains.
Representatives for the medical examiner did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
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Cowie, one of the many zookeepers who kept things running at the Oklahoma zoo owned by Lowe as well as by Joseph Maldonado-Passage, better known as Joe Exotic, died earlier this month in New York City.
The outlet previously reported that, if no one had claimed Cowie’s remains, the responsibility would have fallen on the City of New York, which Lowe deemed unacceptable. Lowe told the outlet that he was actively working to get in touch with the proper authorities to claim Cowie’s remains so that he could give him a proper sendoff at the Thackerville, Okla., zoo he loved so much.
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If given custody of his remains, Lowe would have had him cremated and spread his ashes along with his favorite cat, a Liger named Django, that died last year. In addition, Lowe wanted to have a memorial service at the zoo for Cowie that would be live-streamed for fans to view and take part in on Facebook. It’s unclear if he still plans to have that memorial.
At the time of his death, police confirmed to Fox News that they responded to an emergency call of “an unconscious male inside of 21 East 55 Street in the confines of the 67 Pct.” The man was in the bedroom of the location.
In the viral Netflix doc, Cowie said he found the zookeeping job on Craigslist and was desperate for work.
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Cowie was one of the animal caretakers at the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park and testified against Exotic, who is currently serving 22 years in a Texas prison after being found guilty of hiring two hitmen in a failed murder-for-hire attempt against his big cat zoo rival, Carole Baskin.
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He also said in court that he witnessed Exotic’s alleged mistreatment of the animals and confirmed that Exotic killed some of the older big cats to make room for new ones.