A wild animal trainer featured in the popular Netflix series “Tiger King” has been convicted of wildlife trafficking in Virginia, the attorney general’s office announced Tuesday.
Here’s What Happened
Bhagavan “Doc” Antle was accused of illegally buying endangered lion cubs in Frederick County, Virginia, for display and profit at his South Carolina zoo, Attorney General Jason Miyares said in a news release.
A jury convicted Antle on Friday for wildlife trafficking and conspiring to wildlife traffic.
Antle, who owns the Myrtle Beach Safari wildlife park, appeared in Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, a Netflix documentary mini-series that focused on tiger breeders.
He was convicted of two felony counts of wildlife trafficking and two felony counts of conspiring to wildlife traffic.
Judge Alexander Iden dismissed four additional animal cruelty charges against Antle and all charges against his two adult daughters, The Winchester Star reported.
“Virginia’s animal cruelty laws are not taken lightly by my office,” Miyares said in a statement. “I’m proud of my Animal Law Unit for their tireless work and I’m thrilled that the jury not only agreed with us but sent a message that Virginia does not tolerate wildlife animal trafficking.”
Antle is featured prominently in “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” a 2020 Netflix documentary miniseries that focused on tiger breeders and private zoo operators in the U.S.
Antle’s sentencing is scheduled for September 14, 2023.
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