Doc Antle, Despicable Tiger King Star, Indicted on Wildlife Trafficking Charges

Doc Antle, the one star of Tiger King who may be a worse human being than Joe Exotic, has been indicted on wildlife trafficking charges in Virginia.

The development was confirmed on Friday by the state’s attorney general in a press release.

Antle — the owner of South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach Safari — was charged earlier today 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 Act.

He was featured this spring on the aforementioned Netflix documentary as a controversial collector of exotic animals — and also as the lone male in a weird and exploitive relationship with multiple young women. 

The guy is AWFUL.

But anyway.

According to the press 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 determined that Antle and the owner of Wilson’s Wild Animal Park, Keith Wilson, had allegedly trafficked lion cubs between Virginia and South Carolina.

For the record, Wilson also faces one felony count of wildlife trafficking, one felony count of conspiracy to wildlife traffic and 17 misdemeanor charges.

No one who watched Tiger King should be surprised by any of this.

This case, meanwhile, goes beyond Antle himself — and into his family.

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.

When Tiger King was released on Netflix in March, and became a national sensation because everyone was stuck at home early in the Covid-19 pandemic, Antle trashed the series as “salacious.”

Earlier this month, however, he announced his participation in a new docuseries, Tiger Kingdom: More Than a King.

He said 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.”

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