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‘Tiger King’ Star Bhagavan ‘Doc’ Antle Convicted On Endangered Animal Charges In Virginia

Bhagavan 'Doc' Antle's Unlawful Acquisition of Endangered Animals

Bhagavan “Doc” Antle, a prominent figure in the captivating docuseries “Tiger King,” has recently faced a major turning point in his life. As a trainer and zoo owner, Antle has been found guilty in Virginia on four felony charges connected to the buying and selling of endangered animals.

As a key personality in the Netflix documentary miniseries “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” which shed light on the world of tiger breeders, Antle’s legal troubles have thrust him into the spotlight once again, this time for his alleged involvement in unlawful activities concerning endangered species.

Tiger King Star Bhagavan ‘Doc’ Antle Convicted on Felony Counts for Endangered Animal Trade

The accusations against Antle involved the unlawful acquisition of endangered lion cubs for exhibition and profit at his zoo in South Carolina, as stated by Attorney General Jason Miyares in a news release. Following a trial, a jury reached a verdict on Friday, convicting Antle on two felony counts each of wildlife trafficking and conspiracy to wildlife traffic.

The sentencing is scheduled for September 14, 2023, and Antle could face a maximum prison term of up to 20 years. Currently, he remains free on bond until the sentencing phase. However, his involvement in the illegal trade of endangered animals has now placed him in the midst of a legal battle with serious consequences.

Mixed Verdict for ‘Tiger King’ Star Bhagavan ‘Doc’ Antle: Convictions, Acquittals, and Controversies

Aside from his convictions, Bhagavan “Doc” Antle was acquitted of five animal cruelty charges, while four additional charges against him and all charges against his two adult daughters were dismissed. Antle’s Myrtle Beach Safari’s petting zoo played a role in his acquisition of young lion cubs, obtained from Wilson’s Wild Animal Park in Virginia through a “cub pipeline” to South Carolina.

The 2020 indictment included felony charges of wildlife trafficking and conspiracy. Antle’s defense attorney argued that the prosecution was politically motivated in response to public concerns about animal exploitation.

The case has generated debates on the treatment and trade of animals, resulting in a complex and varied verdict for the famous “Tiger King” personality.