Activist Carole Baskin Wiki, Bio, Age, Career, Height, Occupation, Nationality, Spouse, Children, Occupation & Net Worth


Carole Baskin is an American big-cat rights activist and CEO of Big Cat Rescue, a non-profit animal sanctuary based near Tampa, Florida. Likewise, Baskin drew public attention when she was featured in the 2020 Netflix documentary series Tiger King about Oklahoma-based private zoo operator Joe Exotic. The Netflix series follows both Baskin and Joe Exotic, filming their ongoing and escalating feuds over exotic animals in private zoos. Following the series’s release, Baskin has been the subject of internet memes and conspiracy theories related to the disappearance of Don Lewis, her second husband.

Early life

Carole Stairs Jones was born on June 6, 1961, on the Lackland Air Force Base in Bexar County, Texas. She 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.

At age 14, Baskin reports having been gang raped by three men who lived across the street from her house, claiming that she received no emotional support from her conservative Christian family. She later dropped out of high school and left home with a local roller rink employee. Baskin then hitchhiked back and forth between Florida and Bangor, Maine, sleeping under parked cars. Likewise, she later purchased a Datsun truck and slept in the back with her pet cat.


At the age of 17, Lewis worked at a Tampa department store. To make money, she began breeding show cats. She also began rescuing bobcats, and used llamas for a lawn trimming business. Later, in January 1981, she married her second husband and joined his real estate business.

As Carole Lewis, she and her husband Don founded Wildlife on Easy Street, an animal sanctuary near Tampa for big cats, in 1992. She has used social media such as Facebook and YouTube and her “The Cat Chat” podcast to promote activism against private zoos. The New York Times and The Hollywood Reporter have described her as an animal rights activist.

Personal life

She moved in with Michael Murdock, her boss at the department store where she worked, when she was 17. The couple married on April 7, 1979. Moreover, she became pregnant soon after, and daughter Jamie Veronica Murdock was born on July 16, 1980.

According to Baskin, in 1981, when she was 19, she threw a potato at Murdock as he attempted to attack her. She ran out of their home barefoot and met her next husband, Don Lewis, on Nebraska Avenue in Tampa. Moreover, she became one of Lewis’s many girlfriends and substantially grew his wealth by helping him buy and sell real estate in 1984. The pair divorced their respective spouses and subsequently married in 1991.

Joe Exotic feud and Tiger King

Baskin has a long-running feud with the former owner of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. And that was who goes by the nickname Joe Exotic. Exotic engaged in a pattern of harassment against Baskin, including trademark infringement. Similarly, in 2013, a court ordered him to pay Baskin $1 million in damages, leading to his bankruptcy.

In June 2020, a federal judge granted Joe Exotic’s former zoo property to Baskin and Big Cat Rescue on the basis. That Joe Exotic fraudulently transfered the zoo’s real estate to his mother. Similarly, to avoid creditors, particularly Baskin’s judgment against him.

Net Worth

After Lewis died, Baskin and Lewis’ children fought over the money he left behind. His children claimed that Baskin forged Lewis’ will and power of attorney, according to People. Baskin alleged that the children should only receive $1 million in properties. Since they belonged to Lewis before they were married. Lewis’ business affairs and holdings were estimated at over $5 million.

Baskin received a temporary court order to use $152,000 from the real estate operations to run Big Cat Rescue. Baskin then tried to negotiate settlements to give her stepdaughters $1 million and allow her to have the rest.


  • Full Name: Carole Stairs Jones
  • Date of Birth: June 6, 1961
  • Age: 58
  • Birth Place: Bexar County, Texas, U.S.
  • Other names: Carole MurdockCarole Lewis
  • Occupation: Animal sanctuary executive, animal rights activist
  • Known for: Involvement in Tiger King
  • Spouse(s): Michael Murdock (m since 1979, div. 1990), Don Lewis (m. 1991, legal d. 2002), Howard Baskin (m. 2004)
  • Nationality: American
  • TV shows: Tiger King
  • Children: Jamie Veronica Murdock
  • Other names: Carole Murdock, Carole Lewis
  • Net Worth: N/A
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Net Worth of Carole Baskin