Carole Baskin’s husband is getting in shape to compete with her ‘Dancing With the Stars’ partner.
The ‘Tiger King’ star is currently in Los Angeles competing on the programme with professional dancer Pasha Kovalev but 70-year-old Howard Baskin has stayed at their Big Cat Rescue sanctuary in Florida, and is hoping to impress his spouse with a new buff physique when they’re finally reunited.
He said: "Regarding hunky Pasha, don’t tell Carole, but I have started lifting weights.
"I am hoping that when I see her at the airport here and give her a big hug she feels my arms and says ‘Boy, you have that definition right here’ … like she said to him."
However, Howard insisted he isn’t worried about any show "curse" having an impact on his marriage.
He said: "I have absolutely zero concern about that and am not superstitious.
"I cannot imagine a stronger or happier relationship than ours, and, frankly, I think I have a prettier smile than Pasha."
Howard admitted both he and his 59-year-old wife are finding it "rather difficult" being apart because they rarely go a day without seeing one another.
He told The Sun Online: "We have not been separated for more than two days at a time ever in the last 17 years, so this is very, very weird and rather difficult for us personally to say the least.
"I was single and lived alone until aged 52 when we met, and I am still in the usual surroundings, so I think it is probably easier for me to be alone than her."
Instead, the couple are using video technology to connect every day.
Howard – who is unable to fly to Los Angeles to be with his wife because he’s deemed high risk of coronavirus due to his age – said: "We catch up by Zoom each night, so I get a recap of her day. The training is really, really intense.
"She is with Pasha three to four hours per day. Then, at her apartment, she cleared all the furniture out of the living room so she could practice more [after] taping Pasha doing the steps … playing the tape while she follows along alone in the living room.
"Keep in mind that, in addition, she has to try to keep up with her endless stream of emails."