Carole Baskin is an American big cat rights activist and CEO of Big Cat Rescue. She is a lover of all animals but has a particular affinity for big and exotic cats. Big Cat Rescue is a non-profit animal sanctuary based near Tampa, Florida which was featured in the Netflix series Tiger King (2020). Baskin and the Big Cat Rescue organization have been featured on CNN, Animal Planet, Discovery, People Magazine, The Today Show, Sports Illustrated, local media outlets, and many more national and international programs with recognition for successfully rehabilitating and releasing a number of bobcats and other native animals since 1992.
There’s no arguing that Carole was thrown into celebrity status within 24 hours of the release of Tiger King, which starred Joe Exotic, aka the Tiger King. She received and suffered from abuse online due to the third episode of the series featuring the conspiracy theory that Baskin was involved in the disappearance of her second husband, Don Lewis. Baskin refuted these claims in a post on the Big Cat Rescue Website, but the abuse has only continued throughout the years. In 2021, Baskin was speaking on the Hollywood Raw with Dax Holt and Adam Glyn podcast, and revealed that the negative online attention resulted in her joining a support group for traumatized celebrities.
Baskin also appeared in the 29th season of Dancing With The Stars, though her dancing stint was short-lived as she was eliminated in the second round. She competed against fellow stars Kaitlyn Bristowe, Nelly, Chrishell Stause, AJ McLean, and Vernon Davis.