Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?
In the wake of the bonkers story about a Bengal tiger roaming the streets of Houston and a murder suspect who allegedly ran off with the big cat, CNN turned to an unusual expert: Carole Baskin, star of the hit Netflix docu-series Tiger King.
Baskin, as you may recall, gained worldwide notoriety from her appearance on the series, which focused on her long-standing feud with private zoo operator Joe Exotic, who was sentenced to 22 years in prison for plotting to murder Baskin. One of the major subplots of the series, meanwhile, revolved around rumors and allegations that Baskin had her second husband killed. (Exotic and others claim she fed her husband to a big cat, a charge Baskin vehemently denies.)
The founder and owner of Big Cat Rescue, Baskin not only has come under fire over law enforcement’s suspicions about her former husband’s disappearance but also her own supposed expertise on tigers. Despite her claims that she runs “the largest accredited sanctuary in the country dedicated entirely to abused and abandoned big cats,” critics have slammed her for charging high fees to her park and relying on unpaid interns to care for the cats.
Despite these concerns, CNN’s New Day on Wednesday brought on Baskin to talk about the arrest of Victor Cuevas, a murder suspect who's been linked to a Bengal tiger seen casually strolling Houston streets before Cuevas scooped him up in his truck and fled the scene. After capturing Cuevas, police ominously said, “The whereabouts of the tiger are not yet known.”
“You know, this has become kind of commonplace in Texas, and so I really hope that Senators Cruz and Cornyn will sign on to the Big Cat Safety Act,” Baskin said, referencing a bill she has publicly supported recently.
After theorizing that the tiger was a “pay-to-play prop” that had aged out, Baskin added that she was “extremely worried about what happens with this tiger and the people around it.” She also stated that people “involved in buying and selling and owning and transporting this tiger have proven they’re absolutely reckless individuals” without concern for others.
After praising law enforcement officials for not shooting the tiger when they first encountered it loose in a neighborhood, Baskin was then asked why individuals shouldn’t have grown tigers in their homes.
“Tigers are hard-wired to roam hundreds of square miles,” she replied. “So there’s no cage that’s going to be sufficient for them.”
Baskin, completely oblivious, then added, “And the only reason that people have tigers as pets is to try to show off to others that they are more powerful than the most powerful creature on the planet. That already tells you that the kind of people who own tigers are really dangerous, reckless people.”