Title: “Animal Trainer ‘Doc’ Antle from ‘Tiger King’ Receives Suspended Sentence for Wildlife Trafficking in Virginia”
Winchester, Va. (AP) – ‘Doc’ Antle, the renowned animal trainer featured in the popular Netflix series “Tiger King,” has been handed a two-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to wildlife trafficking in Virginia. The state attorney general’s office announced that Antle is also banned from owning and handling exotic wild animals in Virginia for the next five years, according to Attorney General Jason Miares. This development comes following Antle’s illegal acquisition of endangered lion cubs in Frederick County, Virginia, which he subsequently displayed and profited from at his South Carolina zoo. A jury convicted him in June on two counts of wildlife trafficking and conspiracy to traffic wildlife, leading to a 20-year prison sentence.
Antle, the owner of Myrtle Beach Safari, became widely known for his appearances in the Netflix documentary miniseries “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness,” which provided an in-depth look into the lives of tiger ranchers. Prosecutors alleged that Antle’s lucrative petting zoo at Myrtle Beach Safari incentivized him to maintain a constant supply of immature lion cubs, resulting in illegal cub exchanges that occurred in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Attorney General Miares emphasized the importance of this case, stating that it sends a clear message to all individuals involved in wildlife trafficking. He reaffirmed Virginia’s commitment to upholding the rule of law without exception, targeting not only violent repeat offenders, but also big pharma, fraudsters, scammers, and wildlife traffickers.
Q: What charges did ‘Doc’ Antle face?
A: ‘Doc’ Antle faced charges of wildlife trafficking, conspiracy to traffic wildlife, and illegal acquisition of endangered lion cubs.
Q: What was his sentence?
A: Antle received a two-year suspended sentence, meaning he will not serve time in prison but remains under supervision.
Q: What additional punishment did he receive?
A: Along with the suspended sentence, Antle was banned from owning and handling exotic wild animals in Virginia for the next five years.
Q: What was the nature of his wildlife trafficking?
A: Antle illegally purchased endangered lion cubs in Virginia and later exhibited them at his South Carolina zoo for profit.
Q: How were these illegal activities discovered?
A: Prosecutors uncovered evidence of illegal cub exchanges occurring between 2017 and 2019 at Antle’s Myrtle Beach Safari, which led to his conviction.
Q: What message was conveyed by the prosecution?
A: The prosecution of this case sends a clear message that Virginia is committed to upholding the rule of law and holding offenders accountable, including wildlife traffickers.
In conclusion, ‘Doc’ Antle’s involvement in wildlife trafficking has resulted in a suspended sentence and a restriction on owning exotic animals in Virginia. This outcome serves as a reminder that the state is dedicated to combatting wildlife trafficking and upholding the rule of law.