'Doc' Antle of Tiger King fame indicted on animal cruelty, trafficking charges in Virginia

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Friday, October 9, 2020
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RICHMOND, VA -- One of the central figures in the Netflix documentary "Tiger King" has been indicted for felony wildlife trafficking.

Bhagavan "Doc" Antle, the owner of Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina, now faces felony charges in Virginia.

According to the Virginia Attorney General, a months-long investigation uncovered evidence that Antle trafficked lion cubs between Virginia and South Carolina.

At the end of "Tiger King," the documentary mentioned that Antle's park in South Carolina was raided in December of 2019. We now know that that raid was part of this Virginia investigation.

Virginia investigators got interested in Antle in November 2019 when they indicted Keith A. Wilson, owner of Wilson's Wild Animal Park, on animal cruelty charges.

SEE ALSO: Zoo made famous by 'Tiger King' docu-series closes to the public

Law enforcement seized 119 animals--including lions, tigers, bears, camels, goats, water buffalo, and more--from Wilson's roadside zoo after a judge found that Wilson "cruelly treated, neglected, or deprived the animal(s) of adequate care."

After that event, the attorney general's office started looking into how Wilson obtained those animals, which they said connected them to Antle.

In addition to those two men, two of Antle's daughters were charged with misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and violating the Endangered Species Act.