‘Tiger King’ Star Doc Antle Is Charged With Wildlife Trafficking
The proprietor of an animal park featured within the Netflix documentary “Tiger King: Homicide, Mayhem and Insanity” has been charged with wildlife trafficking in reference to lion cubs moved between Virginia and South Carolina, prosecutors introduced on Friday.
Bhagavan Antle, who is named Doc and is the proprietor of Myrtle Seashore Safari in South Carolina, was charged with two felony counts associated to wildlife trafficking and 13 further misdemeanors, in keeping with the Workplace of the Lawyer Basic of Virginia. Tawny Antle and Tilakam Watterson, daughters of Mr. Antle, are additionally going through a number of misdemeanor expenses in reference to animal cruelty and alleged violations of the Endangered Species Act.
“I categorically deny any act or conduct that would ever be thought-about as ‘animal cruelty,’” Mr. Antle stated in an announcement. “I’ve spent my complete skilled life selling the welfare and conservation of massive cats and different species.”
In March, as Individuals have been nonetheless getting used to being caught at dwelling due to the pandemic, Mr. Antle captured nationwide consideration with memorable appearances in “Tiger King.” Tens of millions of viewers have been drawn to the documentary, which spotlighted the massive enterprise of massive cats in America.
The person on the heart of the documentary, Joseph Maldonado-Passage, often known as Joe Unique, is serving a 22-year sentence in federal jail for making an attempt to rent successful man to kill Carole Baskin, an animal-rights activist who runs Huge Cat Rescue in Tampa, Fla.
Netflix declined to touch upon the costs introduced towards Mr. Antle.
“We’re thrilled to see legislation enforcement take motion to cease what we consider to be unlawful commerce and unlawful remedy of those harmless tiny cubs,” Howard Baskin, Ms. Baskin’s husband, stated in an e-mail.
The indictments have been introduced after a monthslong investigation by the Virginia lawyer normal’s animal legislation unit into the connection between Mr. Antle and Keith A. Wilson, proprietor of Wilson’s Wild Animal Park in Frederick County, Va. Mr. Wilson was additionally charged with two felonies associated to wildlife trafficking and 17 different misdemeanor expenses.
Virginia prosecutors stated the animal legislation unit had discovered that the lads trafficked lion cubs between Virginia and South Carolina.
“Antle’s tiger mill has been the supply of immense cruelty to tons of of tigers and should be shut down,” Kitty Block, the president and chief govt of the Humane Society of the USA, stated in an announcement. “We all know firsthand all about his remedy of animals.”
Final November, the Virginia lawyer normal, Mark R. Herring, introduced that Mr. Wilson and his nephew Christian Dall’Acqua had each been indicted on 46 counts of animal cruelty by a grand jury in Frederick County. A trial date has been set for June 2021.
In August 2019, the animal legislation unit seized 119 animals from Mr. Wilson’s “roadside zoo,” prosecutors added within the assertion, together with lions, tigers, bears, camels, goats and water buffaloes. A 12-hour listening to concerning the seized animals confirmed insufficient situations at Mr. Wilson’s animal park, prosecutors stated.
“I’ve deep regard and emotions for the animals in my care and would by no means damage or abuse them in any means,” Mr. Antle stated in his assertion. “I stay up for having the ability to reply these expenses and be capable to clear my good identify.”
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