Erik Cowie's cause of death was determined a month after he was found unresponsive and unconscious inside his bedroom.

The New York Police Department revealed that the authorities responded to a 911 call about a dead man inside a Brooklyn apartment in October. The male was reportedly unconscious after the responders came.

At that time, a spokesperson from the Medical Examiner's office refused to reveal Cowie's cause and manner of death as they still needed to perform studies and tests afterward.

Now, a month after Cowie's death, the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner confirmed that the zookeeper died due to acute and chronic alcohol use. Meanwhile, they classified his manner of death as a natural cause.

This supported a large bottle of vodka that was found at the scene.

Erik Cowie Struggled From Alcohol Abuse Before Death

The cause of death might not sound shocking to people who knew him as the zookeeper publicly spoke about his struggles with alcohol abuse in the past. Although he relied on the substance for a long time, he denied he was once a meth addict. "Tiger King" viewers had long assumed he was devouring meth due to his crooked teeth.

However, he dismissed the rumors in an interview and reasoned out his bad teeth were the result of his old age. Cowie reportedly had dental implants in July 2020.

His addiction got worse that he ended up being busted for a DUI charge in Oklahoma this year after getting himself involved in a car accident. At that time, he pleaded guilty but refused to show up before the court in May for his hearing and sentencing.

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The official report on Erik Cowie's cause of death came weeks after Jeff Lowe revealed his plans on spreading the zookeeper's ashes at the Oklahoma Zoo. His ashes would reportedly be put in the zoo along with his favorite cat, who recently died.

Lowe wanted to claim his remains as no family member came forward at that time. Meanwhile, the representatives for the Office of Chief Medical Examiner confirmed afterward that Cowie's remains had been claimed. Still, it did not mention who took Cowie's body, but Lowe noted that a person who claimed to be the zookeeper's relative collected his remains.

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