Tiger King star ‘Doc’ Antle indicted on animal cruelty and animal trafficking charges

Featured in the popular 2020 Netflix docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, Bhagavan “Doc” Antle has been indicted in Virginia under charges including animal cruelty and wildlife trafficking. The animal trainer was finally charged after a many-month investigation that revealed that Antle trafficked lion cubs between Virginia and South Carolina. He was even shown to have snuck baby cubs into Las Vegas hotels on numerous occasions even on the show.

Antle is the owner of the Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina and a close friend of Joe Exotic, the “Tiger King” whom the series was centered around. Joe Exotic is now serving a 22-year prison sentence for a murder-for-hire scheme in the attempt to kill his adversary—Carole Baskin.

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‘Doc’ Antle was indicted by a Frederick County grand jury on Thursday on multiple (felony) counts of wildlife trafficking and conspiracy, the Associated Press reports. There were also multiple misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and conspiracy to violate the Endangered Species Act. Two of Antle’s daughters have also been indicted on charges of violating the same act, along with multiple counts of animal cruelty.

The same investigation found that Keith Wilson, owner of Wilson’s Wild Animal Park in Winchester, Virginia, had been conducting illegal animal trade and had been treating his animals inhumanely. Wilson has also been indicted by the same jury on multiple counts of wildlife trafficking, conspiracy, animal cruelty and violating the Endangered Species Act. A total of 119 animals have been rescued from Wilson’s zoo after revelations indicated that these animals were “cruelly treated, neglected, or deprived” of proper care.

The 119 animals seized included lions, tigers, bears, camels, goats, and water buffalo. Wilson’s and his nephew’s case is scheduled to be heard in June, which the indictment earlier in November of last year.

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