Tiger King star Bhagavan "Doc" Antle has been formally indicted on animal cruelty and trafficking charges. According to Variety, the charges come after a long investigation by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring's animal law unit. Herring's office states that Antle and Keith A. Wilson — the owner of Wilson's Wild Animal Park in Frederick County, Virginia — trafficked lion cubs between Antle's Myrtle Beach Safari Park and the state.
Antle's charges are as follows: one felony count of wildlife trafficking, one felony count of conspiracy to wildlife traffic, four misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to violate the Endangered Species Act, and nine misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty. As for Wilson, he has been charged with one felony count of wildlife trafficking, one felony count of conspiracy to wildlife traffic, four misdemeanor counts of violating the Endangered Species Act, four misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to violate the Endangered Species Act and nine misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty. Two of Antle's daughters were also indicted, with Tawny Antle facing one misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals and one misdemeanor count of violating the Endangered Species Act. Antle's daughter Tilakam Watterson has been charged with two misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals and two misdemeanor counts of violating the Endangered Species Act.
According to Herring's office, the months-long investigation that resulted in these charges included a search of Antle's South Carolina property that took place in Dec. 2019. This would have been roughly three to four months before Netflix's Tiger King documentary series premiered. Notably, Wilson has previous animal cruelty charges handed down in November 2019, which stem from circumstances surrounding his Wild Animal Park.
Antle is the second Tiger King subject to wind up in legal trouble related to work with animals. Joseph Allen "Joe Exotic" Maldonado-Passage is currently behind bars over a murder-for-hire plot against Carole Baskin, a subject in the documentary series. Baskin runs Big Cat Rescue in Florida and recently appeared on ABC's Dancing With the Stars.
Baskin has had her fair share of legal woes circling, as she has long faced speculation over the disappearance of her former husband, Don Lewis. She has maintained her innocence throughout the case but has alleged that the couple has been involved. At this time, it does not appear that Antle has issued a comment on the charges he faces.