Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness is currently the top series on Netflix, and one of its subjects is now speaking out about his portrayal. While the main focus of the documentary is former Oklahoma zookeeper Joseph Maldonado-Passage (best known as Joe Exotic), one of the supporting players is Bhagavan "Doc" Antle. Antle is the owner of Myrtle Beach Safari, a South Carolina zoo featured prominently in the documentary. Tiger King dives into the peculiar lifestyle of Antle and his workers, as well as allegations of animal abuse and other shady practices. While Exotic is the focus, Antle and his ties to the now-imprisoned zookeeper do not come off particularly well. In a now-deleted Instagram post, Antle said he and the zoo's staff are "very disappointed" in their portrayal and blasted the series as "sensationalized entertainment."
"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," Antle wrote. "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. 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.
"Myrtle Beach Safari adheres to all USDA guidelines, and our animals are treated with the utmost care. We have never had a USDA violation and work collaboratively with various state and federal wildlife agencies to ensure our animals receive the very best life each and every day. Over the decades we have heard every sort of fantasy scenario regarding our facility. Many of these less-than-flattering mistruths have been manufactured by those in the animal rights movement that oppose animal ambassador programs of any sort. 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."
Antle then plugged the company's website so admirers can book tours. The post, which accompanied a picture of staff members with a chimpanzee, has since been deleted.
Another one of the documentaries' supporting players, Carole Baskin, has also expressed distaste in how the show's documentarians portrayed her.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images