Animal trainer Bhagavan “Doc” Antle, who gained fame through the Netflix series “Tiger King,” has been given a two-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to wildlife trafficking in Virginia, according to the state attorney general’s office. As part of the sentence, Antle is prohibited from owning or handling exotic wild animals in Virginia for five years.
Antle was accused of illegally purchasing endangered lion cubs in Frederick County, Virginia, with the intention of displaying and profiting from them at his South Carolina zoo. In June, he was convicted of two counts of wildlife trafficking and conspiracy to traffic wildlife. He served 20 years of imprisonment for his offenses.
Antle, the owner of Myrtle Beach Safari, made an appearance in the Netflix documentary miniseries “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” which focused on individuals involved in tiger ranching.
Prosecutors revealed that illegal cub exchanges and the maintenance of a steady supply of immature lion cubs took place at Antle’s Myrtle Beach Safari in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Attorney General Jason Miares emphasized that the prosecution of this case sends a strong message. He stated, “In Virginia, we enforce the rule of law without exception, whether dealing with violent repeat offenders, big pharma, fraudsters and scammers, or wildlife traffickers.”
Q: What was Bhagavan “Doc” Antle convicted of?
A: Antle was convicted of wildlife trafficking, specifically for illegally purchasing endangered lion cubs.
Q: What is the punishment for Antle’s conviction?
A: Antle received a two-year suspended sentence and is also banned from owning and handling exotic wild animals in Virginia for five years.
Q: Where was Antle accused of buying the lion cubs?
A: Antle was accused of purchasing the lion cubs in Frederick County, Virginia.
Q: When did Antle serve his prison sentence?
A: Antle served 20 years in prison for his wildlife trafficking offenses.
Q: What was the purpose of the Netflix documentary series “Tiger King”?
A: “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” focused on individuals involved in tiger ranching, including Bhagavan “Doc” Antle.
Q: What did prosecutors claim about Antle’s Myrtle Beach Safari?
A: Prosecutors alleged that the Myrtle Beach Safari’s petting zoo facilitated illegal cub exchanges and the continuous supply of immature lion cubs.
Q: What message did Attorney General Miares want to send?
A: Miares emphasized that Virginia enforces the rule of law without exception, whether it’s dealing with wildlife traffickers or other offenders.