Tiger King’s Doc Antle Indicted on Wildlife Trafficking Charges
The Virginia attorney general’s animal law unit conducted a months-long investigation of the Netflix star's zoo
Antle, the owner of South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach Safari, was charged with one felony count of wildlife trafficking, one felony count of conspiracy to wildlife traffic and 13 additional misdemeanor charges relating to animal cruelty and the Endangered Species Ac.
According to the release, the attorney general’s animal law unit conducted a months-long investigation of the zoo, as well as Wilson’s Wild Animal Park in Winchester, Virginia. The office discovered that Antle and the owner of Wilson’s Wild Animal Park, Keith Wilson, had allegedly trafficked lion cubs between Virginia and South Carolina.
Wilson similarly faces one felony count of wildlife trafficking, one felony count of conspiracy to wildlife traffic and 17 misdemeanor charges.
A representative for Myrtle Beach Safari did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
In addition to the charges against Antle and Wilson, two of Antle’s daughters have been charged with misdemeanors. Tawny Antle faces one misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals, while Tilakum Watterson has been charged with two misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals and two misdemeanor counts of violating the Endangered Species Act.
Antle, 6o, first became well-known when he was featured in Netflix’s hit docuseries Tiger King, which premiered in March. At the time, the zoo owner slammed the series as “salacious.”
Earlier this month, he announced his participation in a new docuseries, Tiger Kingdom: More Than a King, that he hoped would paint a different picture about himself and his animal park.
“There are two sides of why we have done this project,” Antle said in a statement. “Tiger King has been interfering with our capacity to do our international conservation work by changing people’s views on saving tigers.”