The claws feature in the decades-old feud between “Tiger King” star Carol Baskin and the daughters of her “dead” husband, Don Lewis.
In a statement sent to The Post on Friday, Lewis’ offspring — Donna Pettis, Linda Sanchez and Jill Rathbone — applauded the Baskin’s startling claim to have been found ‘alive and well’ in Costa Rica.
“It’s simply not true,” the girls declare, before accusing Baskin of tampering with a message seen in “Tiger King 2” in order to create a “different narrative” about Lois’ disappearance.
Lewis – who married Big Cat Rescue chief Baskin back in 1991 – disappeared without trace in August 1997 and was declared legally dead in 2002.
Baskin, 61, has vehemently denied any involvement in the mysterious disappearance of her multi-millionaire husband and has attacked rumors that I put his body in a meat grinder and fed it to the tigers at her animal rescue farm in Tampa, Florida.
In a video interview with The Post on Wednesday night, a spokesman for the Lewis family, Jack Smith, also criticized Baskin. He said her claims of being “alive and well” smack of desperation and are a blatant attempt to deflect speculation that she might know important details of Don’s disappearance.
“I think she’s just trying to do anything she can to clear her name,” Smith said, adding that Lewis’ three daughters were upset by her assertions.
Louis Baskin’s offspring have always hated her – but they stop short of saying she was involved in the disappearance of their wealthy father.
Earlier this week, Baskin returned to the headlines after footage emerged from a November 2021 interview with British talk show “This Morning” It went viral, featuring the animal rights activist saying Lewis had been found alive.
Baskin stated, “One of the really interesting things that came out of ‘Tiger King 2’ is that they provided a letter from the Department of Homeland Security saying that a special agent in charge of the FBI in the Department of Homeland Security reached out to Mayor George’s investigator. [Jorge] Fernandez. This had to happen after 2002 because Homeland Security did not exist until 2002 [when Lewis was declared dead]. “
She continued, “They said my husband, Don Luis, is alive and well in Costa Rica. However, all this drama about me having something to do with his disappearance was made when Homeland Security knew his whereabouts.”
Baskin herself told The Post that she was unaware of the alleged revelation until the sequel series aired in November 2021.
“I wasn’t aware of this until ‘TK2’ aired,” Baskin told The Post via email on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, efforts by The Post on the ground to locate Lewis – or someone who knows his possible whereabouts – in Costa Rica have so far proved unsuccessful.
While a letter from the Department of Homeland Security appears in “Tiger King 2,” Lois’ daughters say they don’t say their father is “alive and well.”
They also say that a separate letter – coined in 1997 – appears in the program, but it does not provide definitive proof that Lewis is still alive.
“In the past few days, we have learned of recently published news articles claiming that our father, Jack Donald Lewis, has been found ‘alive and well,’ in Costa Rica,” the Post.
“While we certainly welcome the good news that our father is alive, it is simply not true. In late 1997 we were notified by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department that there was a report from US Customs stating that our father had been seen in Costa Rica. This report prompted Donna, Eldest daughter of Don Luis and her husband, Tim, to travel to Costa Rica in November 1997 to search for Don Luis. This was the same report that was shown in “Tiger King 2″ and is now being used to fill in a different account of what happened to our father.”
The statement continued, “Our father is still listed as a missing person in the National Missing and Unidentified Persons database. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department continues to be actively working on our father’s case, and we are in constant contact with them as they continue to move forward.”
Lewis was 59 at the time of his disappearance – and would have been 84 if he were still alive today.
Statement Louis girls make fun with One submitted to the mail From the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office on Thursday.
“We have not received any communication from our federal partners confirming the whereabouts of missing person Mr. Don Luis,” Ventress Fountain, Public Information Officer, told The Post.
“The investigation into the disappearance of Don Lewis remains a priority for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, as it is with all missing person cases.”
In 2020, Louis Her family has filed a defamation lawsuit against Baskin Saying she didn’t speak during her appearance on “Dancing With the Stars” when the judges made some jokes about her missing husband.
They accused Big Cat Rescue Boss of being “complicit” when the judges name-droped a viral TikTok video featuring the unproven conspiracy theory that Baskin killed Louis and fed him to their hungry tigers.
Shortly after “Tiger King” debuted on Netflix in 2020, the Lewis family appeared She offered a $100,000 reward For new information on the disappearance of Don Luis