Bhagavan “Doc” Antle – extreme animal trainer and star of Netflix’s “Tiger King” – has been indicted on multiple wildlife trafficking charges following an investigation by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s animal law unit.
Herring’s office said Antle and Keith A. Wilson, the owner of Wilson’s Wild Animal Park in Frederick County, Va., trafficked lion cubs between the state and Antle’s Myrtle Beach Safari Park.
Antle was indicted on Thursday and charged with one felony count of wildlife trafficking, one felony count of conspiracy to wildlife traffic and 13 additional misdemeanor charges in Virginia.
Wilson has been charged with one felony count of wildlife trafficking, one felony count of conspiracy to wildlife traffic, four misdemeanor counts of violating the Endangered Species Act, four misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to violate the Endangered Species Act and nine misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.
On Wednesday, both men were indicted in Frederick County with two of Antle’s daughters. Tawny Antle faces one misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals and one misdemeanor count of violating the Endangered Species Act, while Tilakam Watterson has been charged with two misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals and two misdemeanor counts of violating the Endangered Species Act.
According to Herring’s office, a months-long investigation resulted in these charges, including a search of Antle’s South Carolina property in Dec. 2019. Wilson has previous animal cruelty charges from November 2019, regarding his Wild Animal Park.
Antle’s “Tiger King” co-star Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, better known as Joe Exotic, is currently in prison for his role in a murder-for-hire plot against Carole Baskin, who recently appeared in ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.” Baskin continues to face speculation over the disappearance of her former husband, Don Lewis, but maintains her innocence in the case.