It was recently discovered that Tiger King subject Doc Antle was on-stage with Britney Spears during her classic VMAs performance, and he recently reflecting on the moment, calling Spears the "sweetest young girl." Antle, an experienced animal trainer, was hired to handle a tiger during the iconic 2001 performance.
"She was such a darling, totally just a fanatic person wanting a perfect performance," Antle said, while speaking to ET's Lauren Zima. "We were there for several days rehearsing so that the tigers would be relaxed and happy to be out there and that everything could be smooth and taken care of as best as possible." He then added, "She was there rehearsing and working -- just the hardest working, sweetest young girl, out there making all the pieces click together." Zima then asked Antle if he recalled what was going through his head during the big performance, and if he had any worries. He replied, "I have total confidence in that tiger. I knew him since he was a baby. He's about seven years old right there [and at the] peak of his game. A super macho, aggressive male tiger."
Antle continued, "That's the tiger that you go somewhere like that with because he cares less about the fireworks, the gas explosions, the banging music. He's totally concerned with just holding his own and being cool."
Regarding his newfound notoriety from Tiger King, Antle previously expressed that he was not a fan of the way he was depicted in the docu-series.
In a since-deleted post on Instagram, Antle's Myrtle Beach Safari wrote, "We are very disappointed that our facility was mentioned in the new Netflix series. We can only assume it is because Doc Antle has been such a high profile wildlife personality for so many decades that his association would create more buzz. It is important to understand that this series is not a documentary; it's sensationalized entertainment with paid participants. Tiger King is the bizarre story of Joe and Carole and their feud. These characters are not representative of experts in the wildlife sector or world class facilities like ours here in Myrtle Beach."
The statement continued, "Myrtle Beach Safari has been recognized by the state of South Carolina as one of the pre-eminent wildlife facilities in the United States. We've also received international accolades for the critical role we provide with our qualified, captive breeding programs and our global conservation efforts of threatened and endangered species."
The statement later concluded by saying, "In the end, we hope you will come visit us and judge for yourself. Every visitor to our facility quickly recognizes the magical place we have created. We remain open during these challenging times with both Day and Night Safari options. Our tours are held outdoors and our 50-acre preserve provides plenty of area for social distance."