Carole Baskin Net Worth 2022 – Salary, Income, Husband

Carole Baskin Net Worth

Carole Baskin has an estimated net worth of $10 million. Carole Baskin is an animal rights activist who runs the Big Cat Rescue animal sanctuary. Her appearance in the docuseries ‘Tiger King’ brought new attention to her advocacy but also spotlighted her rivalry with Joe Exotic and the disappearance of her second husband. She earns most of her income from television series. 

Carole Baskin made a name for herself as the founder of Big Cat Rescue, a well-known big cat sanctuary that also advocates for more restrictions on private ownership of these animals. Baskin became a public figure thanks to the popular docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness (2020).

Baskin and Joe Exotic, a private zoo owner whom Baskin suspected of mistreating his animals, were featured in the program. Tiger King also drew attention to the 1997 disappearance of Baskin’s second husband, which is still unsolved.

Baskin joined the lineup of Dancing with the Stars in September 2020 as a result of her post-Tiger King celebrity; her cat-themed performances were not a hit, and she became the second contestant to be eliminated.

To calculate the net worth of Carole Baskin, subtract all her liabilities from her total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity she has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of her net worth:


Carole Baskin

Net Worth: $10 Million
Monthly Salary: $100 Thousand
Annual Income: $2 Million
Source of Wealth: Actor, Presenter, Film Producer, Model

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Early Life

Baskin was born as Carole Stairs on June 6, 1961, at the Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

Introduction to Animal Activism and Big Cat Rescue

Baskin got her first taste of big cats in 1992, when her second husband, Don Lewis, gave her a 6-month-old bobcat. A trip to a fur farm resulted in the couple acquiring more than fifty more bobcat kittens, who were quickly followed by a slew of other animals. Baskin and Lewis eventually cared for 200 big cats on a 40-acre sanctuary in Tampa, Florida, which included a bed and breakfast where visitors could interact with the cats. It was known as Wildlife on East Street.

Despite the fact that Baskin and Lewis were animal rescuers, they also sold and bred big cats. However, when Baskin’s concern for animal rights caused her to object to the practice, she found herself at odds with Lewis. Baskin kept control of the sanctuary and its inhabitants after Lewis vanished.

Baskin’s nonprofit organization was renamed Big Cat Rescue after her marriage to Howard Baskin in 2004. Big Cat Rescue is now a 69-acre animal sanctuary with large enclosures (the smallest is 1,200 square feet). Visitors have been welcomed at Big Cat Rescue, though their visits have been limited due to the coronavirus pandemic, but they are not permitted to interact with the cats.

The organization also campaigns for legislation to protect big cats. Baskin wants the Big Cat Public Safety Act to become law, which would crack down on unethical breeders and prohibit private ownership of big cats, as well as prohibit zoos from allowing visitors to pet and touch these animals. “We hold Big Cat Rescue and the Baskins in the highest regard,” a Humane Society representative told the Tampa Bay Times in April 2020. “Not many sanctuaries do rescue and advocacy, but Big Cat Rescue does both very well.”

Baskin and Joe Exotic

Baskin learned in 2009 that private zoo owner Joe Exotic (also known as Joseph Schreibvogel and Joseph Maldonado-Passage) was bringing young tiger cubs to malls for petting visits, requiring the cubs to be prematurely separated from their mothers.

She and her supporters began contacting these venues in an attempt to get the visits to stop. Baskin also objected to Exotic breeding and selling tigers, felt his animals were mistreated, and wished to close his zoo.

Exotic fought back against Baskin in devious ways at times. He began using Baskin’s organization’s name to promote his zoo, which resulted in a trademark infringement suit. He read passages from Baskin’s stolen diary. He also made harassing videos, such as one in which a Baskin lookalike suggested Baskin had murdered her missing husband and fed his remains to her tigers.

Exotic attempted to hire a hitman to kill Baskin in 2017, in addition to publicly attacking him. After federal authorities learned of the plot, he was arrested. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison for this and other crimes in 2019.

Exotic was imprisoned when a judge ruled in June 2020 that control of his private zoo had been improperly transferred to avoid creditors. To satisfy the judgment in her trademark infringement case, Baskin was given control of Exotic’s zoo.

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‘Tiger King’

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness, a hit when it was released during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, focused on Baskin and Exotic’s contentious relationship. The show also investigated the disappearance of Baskin’s second husband (Baskin has consistently denied any involvement in his disappearance).

Baskin accused the directors of deceptive tactics following the release of Tiger King. In a public statement, she stated that she hoped the series “would expose the misery caused by the rampant breeding of big-cat cubs for cub petting exploitation and the horrible life the cats lead in roadside zoos and backyards if they survive.”

She was disappointed because the program, in her opinion, had “the sole goal of being as salacious and sensational as possible in order to draw viewers.” The directors argued that Baskin had freely discussed her personal life.

Some viewers have pointed out that Tiger King’s editing and narrative choices did not favor Baskin. Accusations and insinuations about her involvement in her husband’s disappearance are extensively covered, but she is given little opportunity to refute claims made about her. Baskin told the Tampa Bay Times that she received numerous death threats after Tiger King was released.

Husbands and Personal Life

Baskin left home at the age of 15, married Michael Murdock two years later, and soon had a daughter. In 2020, a letter Baskin wrote about Murdock in which she stated that she “would have eventually killed” her husband to end their marriage became public. Baskin explained that she wrote those words in response to her abusive husband.

Baskin met Lewis after a fight with Murdock in 1981. This encounter resulted in a long-term relationship. Baskin and Lewis married after divorcing their respective spouses in 1991.

Baskin met Howard Baskin in 2002 at a local aquarium. The couple married in 2004 and now work at Big Cat Rescue together.

Baskin came out as bisexual in 2020.

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Missing Husband

Lewis, Baskin’s second husband, went missing on August 18, 1997, at the age of 60. Lewis’ van was quickly found at a nearby private airport. Baskin’s husband allegedly planned a trip to Costa Rica, but no trace of Lewis was found there.

Lewis, according to Baskin, had been seeing other women and was involved in illegal activities in Costa Rica. Lewis had applied for a restraining order against Baskin before disappearing, though he had continued to live at home after the order was denied in June 1997.

A People magazine feature on the disappearance in 1998 speculated that tigers from the couple’s animal rescue had devoured Lewis’ body. “It’s a perfect scenario for getting rid of someone,” said one of Lewis’ daughters in the article. “We were disappointed that the cops did not conduct DNA testing on the meat grinder.” The current sheriff, however, stated in 2020 that the meat grinder in question was not present at the wildlife rescue when Lewis went missing.

Five years after his disappearance, Lewis was declared legally dead, and Baskin became the sole beneficiary of her millionaire husband’s estate. The sheriff confirmed in June 2020 that experts had determined that Lewis’ will had been forged, but that no criminal case could be pursued because the statute of limitations had passed.

Baskin was asked to take a polygraph test in 2011, but she declined on the advice of her attorneys. This brought the investigation to a halt. Tiger King, on the other hand, drew new attention to the case. The sheriff tweeted a plea for information and told TMZ, “Someone has been paid to do it. Someone assisted in the process. I’m hoping that person will come and get this off their chest while also assisting law enforcement in doing the right thing.” Baskin was not considered a suspect in the case, according to the sheriff’s office in April 2020.

In September 2020, Lewis’ assistant Anne McQueen sued Baskin for defamation for implying she was involved in the disappearance. Also in September 2020, CBS’ 48 Hours interviewed Trish Farr-Payne, the ex-wife of a Lewis and Baskin handyman.

Farr-Payne claimed that at the time of Lewis’ disappearance, her ex-husband arrived home with Lewis’ van and some guns. He allegedly said to her, “Listen… I’m holding onto these for Carole right now… Don has left. And I don’t want you to bring up his name.” Farr-Payne claims she first told authorities about the events in 2000.

Baskin continues to insist on her innocence. After Tiger King aired, she wrote a blog post in which she stated, in part, “Don was difficult to live with, and like most couples, we had our disagreements. However, I never threatened him and had nothing to do with his disappearance.”

‘Dancing With the Stars’

“Because every single week, I hope to be getting the message in front of people: These cats don’t belong in cages, and we have to save them in the wild before they disappear completely,” Baskin said of her decision to compete on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.

Baskin’s missing husband’s family used her Dancing With the Stars debut to release a commercial asking for information about the missing Lewis and offering a reward.

Baskin has agreed to do a new series about organizations that violate animal rights. “This is an opportunity for us to use our new platform to combat the everyday evils that face big cats and so many other animals,” she told Variety after the project was announced.

Further Reading

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