Bhagavan "Doc" Antle is setting the record straight following the debut of what he deems the "quasi fictional drama" Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness. In a lengthy post shared to Instagram Tuesday night, Antle, the owner of South Carolina zoo Myrtle Beach Safari, addressed his portrayal in the seven-part docuseries, denying suggestions made in the series that he mistreats his animals in anyway and that he runs a cult.
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"Tiger King, the new drama series that debuted on Netflix last week, is not a documentary, it is quasi fictional drama, more focused on shock value and titillation than fact," Antle wrote in the post. "While focusing on the real life rivalry between Joe ‘Exotic’ and Carole Baskin, the insinuation that TIGERS/ Myrtle Beach Safari is a cult that exploits, euthanizes and incinerates tiger cubs, is a reprehensible falsehood. TIGERS/MBS has never euthanized any tiger cubs or adult tigers — nor any other animal. The insinuation is as foul as it is without foundation. One of our most popular ambassador programs is our tiger cub interaction."
The 60-year-old exotic animal keeper went on to assure viewers that while he does breed his big cats, he does so safely and through a breeding program with the purpose of providing "a genetic backup" for the endangered animals.
"It is important to understand that all of our cubs are born here at the preserve and are part of our breeding program (Species Survival Trust or SST) that is conducted in partnership with Brian W. Davis, Ph.D, Professor of Genomics in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences in the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine, and the founder of the Exotic Genome Repository," he went on to explain. "This is an important distinction that separates our programs from others. Our cubs are not bred solely for the purpose of being a part of our interactive programs. They are bred as part of our captive tiger breeding program, which is designed to create a genetic backup for wild tiger populations."
"And contrary to assertions made in the Tiger King, our tiger cubs do not ever end up in sanctuaries, nor do they ever get euthanized. They remain our babies for their entire lives— either here on site at TIGERS, or they are transferred to an accredited zoological facility that is a partner in our breeding program (SST)," he added. "We have in depth relationships with dozens of adult Tigers and have more than 30 out on our day and night safaris."0comments
Antle, along with several other subjects who appeared in the series, have been vocal with their dislike of Tiger King, many calling it "sensationalized" and claiming that the producers had pitched them an entirely different series than what appeared on the screen.
Addressing the allegations, producers Eric Goode Rebecca Chaiklin have claimed that they simply followed the story as it developed and that they didn't sensationalize anything that was depicted.