The claws appear in the decade-long feud between ‘Tiger King’ star Carole Baskin and the daughters of her ‘dead’ husband Don Lewis.
In a statement given to the Post on Friday, Lewis’s descendants – Donna Pettis, Lynda Sanchez and Gale Rathbone – applauded Baskin’s startling claim that he was found “alive and healthy” in Costa Rica.
“That’s just not true,” the girls explained, before accusing Baskin of manipulating a letter featured in Netflix’s “Tiger King 2” to create “another narrative” about Lewis’ disappearance.
Lewis – who married Big Cat Rescue boss Baskin in 1991 – disappeared without a trace in August 1997 and was pronounced dead in 2002.
The 61-year-old Baskin has strongly denied any role in his multimillionaire wife’s strange disappearance and propagated reports that she fed tigers at her rescue ranch in Tampa, Florida by running her body through a meat grinder. Baskin was also blasted by Jack Smith, a representative for the Lewis family, in a video interview with The Post on Wednesday evening. He said that his claim that he was “alive and well” reeked of desperation and was an obvious attempt to dispel rumours that he could be aware of significant information regarding Don’s abduction.
“I think he’s just trying to do everything he can to clear his name,” Smith said, adding that Lewis’ three daughters were angry at his claims.
Lewis’s descendants have long hated Baskin, but don’t say she was involved in their wealthy father’s disappearance.
Earlier this week, Baskin found himself in the headlines after footage emerged from a November 2021 interview on British talk show ‘This Morning’ showing the animal rights activist claiming Lewis was been found alive. Baskin said, “One of the really exciting things to come out of ‘Tiger King 2′ is that they drafted a letter from Homeland Security saying that an FBI special agent in charge at Homeland Security contacted the sheriff’s detective, George. [Jorge ] Fernández This must have happened after 2002, because Homeland Security didn’t exist until 2002 [when Lewis was pronounced dead]’.
He continued, “They said my husband, Don Lewis, is alive and well in Costa Rica. Yet all this drama is done on me having something to do with his disappearance when Homeland Security knows where he is.” .
Baskin herself told The Post she was unaware of the alleged reveal until after the follow-up series airs in November 2021.
“I wasn’t aware of it until ‘TK2’ aired,” Baskin told The Post by email on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, attempts by The Post to locate Lewis — or anyone who knows where he is — in Costa Rica have so far proved unsuccessful.