"Doc" Antle from Tiger King indicted on animal cruelty charges

Katie Ramirez
December 29, 2020

This week, Bhagavan "Doc" Antle-known for his apperance in Netflix series Tiger King-was charged with one felony count of wildlife trafficking, one felony count of conspiracy to wildlife traffic, four misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to violate the Endangered Species Act, and nine misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty in Virginia.

Attorney General Mark Herring said Friday that a months-long investigation found that Bhagavan "Doc" Antle and the owner of a roadside zoo in Virginia trafficked lion cubs between Virginia and SC.

Antle, the owner of the Myrtle Beach Safari in SC, was one of the characters in 'Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, ' a 2020 Netflix documentary miniseries that focused on tiger breeders in Florida and Oklahoma.

Meanwhile, Wilson's Wild Animal Park owner Keith A Wilson has been charged with one felony count of wildlife trafficking, one felony count of conspiracy to wildlife traffic, four misdemeanour counts of violating the Endangered Species Act, four misdemeanour counts of conspiracy to violate the Endangered Species Act, and nine misdemeanour counts of animal cruelty. "Kevin "Doc" Antle was indicted in Virginia along with two of his children on cruelty to animals and wildlife trafficking charges". Authorities say they seized 119 animals, including lions, tigers, bears, camels, goats, water buffalo, and more from Wilson's roadside zoo and claim he got some of the animals from Antle. Antle, Wilson, and Antle's daughters were all charged by the Grand Jury of Frederick County.

Bhagavan "Doc" Antle pictured in 2012 with a liger.

The subject of "Tiger King", former zoo operator Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is serving 22 years in federal prison in connection to a 2017 murder-for-hire scheme to kill an animal rights activist, as well as on 17 counts of animal abuse, including killing and selling tigers.

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Joe is now serving 22 years in prison for his involvement in a murder-for-hire plot and wildlife charges.

And Tilakum Watterson "charged with two misdemeanour counts of cruelty to animals and two misdemeanour counts of violating the Endangered Species Act". A trial date has been set in the Wilson and Dall'Acqua case for June 21-25, 2021.

Neither Antle nor his lawyers have commented yet on the charges, but with a second season of Tiger King rumored, it's quite possible he will wait until he's back on Netflix to address them.

"Once again, state officials have stepped up to fill the void left by lax enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act", said Kitty Block, president and chief executive of the Humane Society.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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