Carole Ann Baskin is an American animal rights activist and CEO of Big Cat Rescue, a non-profit animal sanctuary based near Tampa, Florida.
31 Facts About Carole Baskin
Carole Baskin has attracted the attention of local, national and international media outlets to the plight of captive big cats.
Carole Baskin denied these claims in a post on Big Cat Rescue's website.
Carole Baskin is well known for her appearance on Dancing with the Stars, featuring her dancing to a cover of the song "Eye of the Tiger".
Carole Baskin Ann Stairs was born on June 6,1961, on the Lackland Air Force Base in Bexar County, Texas.
Carole Baskin expressed an interest in saving cats when she was nine, but she decided against pursuing a career in veterinary medicine after she learned that veterinarians euthanize animals.
Carole Baskin dropped out of high school and left home with a local roller rink employee.
Carole Baskin then hitchhiked back and forth between Florida and Bangor, Maine, sleeping under parked cars.
Carole Baskin later purchased a Datsun truck and slept in the back with her pet cat.
At the age of 17, Carole Baskin worked at a Tampa, Florida, department store.
In January 1991, Carole Baskin married her second husband, Don Lewis, and joined his real estate business.
Carole Baskin remains the current chief executive officer of the sanctuary, which she renamed to Big Cat Rescue sometime after Lewis's disappearance in 1997.
Carole Baskin has used social media such as Facebook and YouTube and her "The Cat Chat" podcast to promote activism against private zoos.
In 2020, Carole Baskin was cast in season 29 of Dancing with the Stars.
Carole Baskin moved in with Michael Murdock, her boss at the Tampa department store where she worked, when she was 17.
Carole Baskin has said that she never loved Murdock and married him only because her parents were disappointed that they had been living together outside of marriage.
Carole Baskin became pregnant in October 1979 and daughter Jamie Veronica Murdock was born on July 16,1980.
Carole Baskin ran out of their home barefoot and met her next husband, Don Lewis, on 50th Street in Tampa.
Carole Baskin became one of Lewis's many girlfriends and substantially grew his wealth by helping him buy and sell real estate in 1984.
In July 1997, Lewis filed a restraining order against Carole Baskin, stating that she had threatened to kill him; the restraining order was rejected.
Carole Baskin claimed he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder months before he vanished.
Carole Baskin joined Big Cat Rescue soon after as chairman of the advisory board.
Carole Baskin proposed to her in November 2003, and they married in November 2004.
Carole Baskin had a long-running feud with Joe Exotic, the former owner of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma.
Carole Baskin was grateful about his imprisonment, but stated in a video on the Big Cat Rescue website that other big cat owners had been prosecuted as well.
In March 2020, Carole Baskin was featured in the Netflix documentary Tiger King.
Carole Baskin called the documentary "salacious and sensational", and criticized directors Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin.
Carole Baskin said that she and her husband felt betrayed by the filmmakers, stating she was told the discussion of Joe Exotic and her missing husband were just for context.
Carole Baskin has never been charged with anything related to Lewis' disappearance and has always denied having anything to do with it.
In February 2021, Carole Baskin revealed that she had been asked to feature in a planned second season of the show, but she refused and told the producers to "lose her number".
Carole Baskin gave exclusively to Democratic candidates from 2005 to 2016, but since 2017 a significant majority of her contributions have gone to Republicans.