Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness subject Carole Baskin is already making a splash as she begins rehearsals for Dancing With the Stars. Baskin, who runs the nonprofit animal sanctuary Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida, gained notoriety through her documented feud with Joe Exotic, a zoo owner who was later convicted of hiring someone to kill Baskin. Tiger King documented this clash, and old dug into the disappearance of Baskin's former husband, Don Lewis, (with some voicing theories that Baskin had something to do with it). Baskin is now attempting to put all that behind her on DWTS and is doing so in her own signature style.
The Daily Mail spotted her outside the DWTS rehearsal space in Los Angeles, and she was decked out in cat-print and cat-themed items. She wore a red shirt with various cat prints on it and paired that with maroon pants. Even her shoes had feline faces on them, and her rucksack was tiger-themed. To follow COVID-19 protocols, she was wearing a face mask, as well. It featured a cartoon cat face and her catchphrase "Hey all you cool cats and kittens," which started in Big Cat Rescue's video updates and became a meme after Tiger King debuted.
Tiger King's Carole Baskin dresses in leopard print for her second day of Dancing With The Stars rehearsals https://t.co/B8PsYJofSr— Daily Mail Celebrity (@DailyMailCeleb) September 5, 2020
As for why Baskin joined Dancing With the Stars, Baskin sees as an opportunity to not rehabilitating her image in some's eyes, but also a chance to push her cause. She intends to push for the ethical treatment and housing of big cats to a national broadcast audience as long as she stays on DWTS.
"Tiger King really glamorized animal abusers and villainized me for trying to stop animal abuse, and so I felt really betrayed by that. But what amazed me was how many people believed that false portrayal of me without doing anything to find out who I really am. It's been a nightmare since Tiger King aired," she told Good Morning America as her casting was made public. "The longer my partner and I can stay in the running and in the competition it will keep the cats forefront in the viewer's eye and to me that was where Tiger King missed the ball - it really should have been focused on the animals."