While the Netflix documentary series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness mostly focuses on Joseph Maldonado-Passage, the series also touches on the bizarre world of big cat collectors. One of the supporting characters is Bhagavan "Doc" Antle, who runs Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina, whose ties to Maldonado-Passage are brought up throughout the seven-episode show. The series has become a streaming phenomenon and Antle was not happy about it. Tiger King viewers were quick to share their thoughts on Antle's disapproval of the "sensationalized entertainment," as he called it.
"We are very disappointed that our facility was mentioned in the new Netflix series," Antle wrote in a now-deleted Isntagram post. "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."
Antle went on to say the series was mostly about the "bizarre story" of Maldonado-Passage's rivalry with big cat conservationist Carole Baskin. Maldonado-Passage is now in jail after being convicted of hiring someone to kill Baskin.
"These characters are not representative of experts in the wildlife sector or world class facilities like ours here in Myrtle Beach," Antle wrote. "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."
According to Antle, his zoo "adheres to all USDA guidelines" and the animals there are "treated with the utmost care."
"Over the decades we have heard every sort of fantasy scenario regarding our facility," Antle continued. "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."
The post was accompanied by a picture of Antle's staff with a chimpanzee and included a link to his website. The post has since been deleted.
Here is how Tiger King viewers are debating Antle's response to the series.
'I Think Netflix was Pretty Fair'
"His quote.....'We are very disappointed that our facility was mentioned in the new Netflix series.' 'MENTIONED'? Dude you participated in filming hours with this crew and were in almost every episode," one viewer wrote on Facebook. "Maybe you're disappointed because you were exposed for the creep that you are and are now getting negative press for your treatment of animals."
"They all just didn't like the world seeing who they really were," another wrote. "I think Netflix was pretty fair, showed everyone's good and bad side. They didn't steer it with narration, just let it unfold."prevnext
'He is Disgusting'
"That show was edited beyond perfect, it didn't have a narrative," another wrote. "You seen everyone for who they were. The perfect experience and dive into a community of Tiger owners."
"He is disgusting," another wrote of Antle. "To go by 'Doc' is an insult to actual doctors who spend their lives helping and saving animals. These people in this doc do not love animals!!! And can we not make another movie/ spinoff/ series about these people? It's only feeding their egos and giving them a platform to continue this abusive behavior and make money!!!!"prevnext
'He Gave Me the Creeps'
"He gave me the CREEPS more than any other weird man in this series! Ewww!" one Facebook user commented. "Grand entrance on poor elephant! Please!"
"I think the Netflix showed all sides of the story," one wrote. "I do believe they all though they look better than they do. Maybe seeing themselves in a different way like an outsider sees them is making them not like their own actions. They all fully participated."prevnext
'I Thought They Portrayed Him Very Well'
"Every one of those people on that show should be in a cage for what they have done to those beautiful WILD creatures," another viewer wrote. "And the people that patronize these places are almost as bad. Sick s— right here."
"I thought they portrayed him very well," another wrote. "I'd go to his place before the others. He's obviously got his shiz together and the added things about his wives and tiger behaviors just added to his intrigue."prevnext
'None of Them are Benefiting Tigers'
"Breeding animals in captivity does nothing for the conservation of the animals," another wrote. "It only increases the number of big cats in captivity.. for profit. Smh."
"The sad part about all of them is that none of them are benefiting tigers," another chimed in. "If it weren't even for their childish bulls— with each other, they would still be going on abusing animals. The govt isn't doing anything to protect these animals and only 2 of these monsters is doing jail time!"prevnext
'It Wasn't Filmed Secretly'
What do you mean "disappointed that our facility was mentioned"? Like you obviously agreed to interviews and being filmed on multiple occasions. Did you think it was all just home movies for fun? Doubtful.— not debbie (@peoplecats) March 25, 2020
Antle tweeted a link to the Instagram post. While the Instagram post was deleted, the tweet was not, so fans had another venue to respond to his statement.
I mean it wasn’t filmed secretly now was it? All the people in the show are in some way bad people.— Joanna Kilroy (@joanna_kilroy) March 26, 2020
You are an abomination. I hope they put you away for a long time.
Photo credit: Getty Imagesprev