Star Doc Antle on Netflix Original Faces Indictments for Wildlife Trafficking and Animal Cruelty in South Carolina Last Thursday.

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Mashable

Alexandra Guerrero, Staff Reporter

Bhagavan “Doc” Antle, a cast member from “Tiger King” and owner of Mrytle Beach Safari, has been charged with two felonies related to wildlife trafficking and 13 additional misdeamoners related to animal cruelty. In addition, two of Antle’s daughters, Tawny Antle and Tilakam Watterson, are confronting a few misdemeanor accusations for violating elements of the Endangered Species Act of 1966.

After months of investigation concerning the connection among Antle and another man identified as Keith A. Wilson. Prosecutors in the federal office came to the conclusion that Doc Antle, including another man, was involved with trafficking lion cubs between South Carolina and Virginia. Keith A. Wilson, is the owner of the Roadsize Zoo Wild Animal Park in Frederick County, Virginia. Wilson likewise faces mutiple lawful offenses and crime allegations for wildlife trafficking and animal cruelty.

Wilson also has a history of animal abuse and his zoo shut down in August of 2019 when officials from the Virginia Attorney General’s Animal Law Unit seized more than 100 animals, including water bison, lions, tigers, camels, and bears. After the seizure, Wilson was charged with 46 counts of animal cruelty. A trial for those charges has been scheduled to take place in June 2021.

“During a 12 hour seizure hearing held on August 29, 2019 in Frederick County General District Court, animal welfare experts testified as to the inadequate conditions and cruelty at Wilson’s Wild Animal Park and photo and video evidence was entered showing inadequate conditions of animals and facilities,” the prosecutor stated.

Furthermore Antle’s Myrtle Beach Safari last December was raided by authorities (before Tiger King came out) in an attempt to catch Antle in the act of illegal lion cub trafficking, but the attempt did not succeed.

“I have deep regard and feelings for the animals in my care and would never hurt or abuse them in any way… the show Tiger King made a number of false statements about my personal life that I just let slide off my back,” says Doc Antle

Many viewers of “Tiger King” are shocked by the charges against Antle.

“Honestly this wasn’t something I was expecting. I’m very surprised Antle has been charged with animal cruelty. That is something I didn’t expect. In the series he seems like he loves the animals and would never harm them,”  said Hopeton Guthrie, an NHS student and fan of “Tiger King”. 

Antle has denied all claims of animal mistreatment and abuse.