Tiger King star Doc Antle, aka Bhagavan Antle, has been indicted on animal cruelty and wildlife trafficking. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s Animal Law Unit says that Antle and Keith A. Wilson, the owner of Wilson’s Wild Animal Park in Frederick County, Virginia, trafficked lion cubs between Virginia and Antle’s Myrtle Beach Safari park. The Netflix docuseries revealed that Antle’s safari park was raided back in December by federal law enforcement where they found numerous cases of animal cruelty.
According to court documents, Bhagavan Antle has been charged with “1 felony count of conspiracy to sell or transport endangered wildlife, 4 misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to violate the Endangered Species Act, and 9 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.” In addition, Antle’s daughters, Tawny Antle and Tilakam Watterson, were charged with “misdemeanors for animal cruelty and violating the Endangered Species Act.” Keith A. Wilson had 119 animals, including lions, tigers, bears, camels, goats, and water buffalo seized from his Wild Animal Park. Wilson admitted to law enforcement that some of the animals had come from Antle.
While Joe Exotic is the undisputed star of Tiger King, Doc Antle is right up there, along with Carole Baskin. Antle ran what seemed to be an animal park, mixed with a cult. He only hired female employees who he deemed worthy enough to work with him, while he claimed to be an Eastern mystic. He brought animals to the stars, including the infamous Britney Spears VMA performance where she handled a large snake, while Antle handled a lion behind her. By 2019, he had racked up over 35 USDA violations for mistreating animals on his property, which also includes allegations of euthanizing tiger cubs.
Doc Antle could very well end up joining Joe Exotic in prison if proven guilty. Exotic is still wheeling and dealing from behind bars and trying to get a presidential pardon from Donald Trump, while also trying to keep Carole Baskin’s name in the news too. Baskin has been accused of killing her husband and feeding him to her tigers by many in the Tiger King inner circle, though she has denied having anything to do with the disappearance of Don Lewis for decades now. She is also not under criminal investigation at this moment.
As for Keith A. Wilson, he has also been charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty over the years. Last year, federal law enforcement visited his property where they saw an animal with a swollen face, tiger food with maggots in it, and what they described as a “monkey dungeon.” Like Doc Antle, Wilson may find himself behind bars too. The only one who is seemingly doing okay from the Netflix series is Carole Baskin, who was recently on Dancing with the Stars. TMZ was the first to report on Doc Antle’s latest legal troubles.