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Saturday, June 4, 2022 – Bhagavan “Doc” Antle, the self-stylized guru who gained attention for his turn in the popular Netflix docuseries Tiger King, was on Friday June 3, arrested by FBI agents in South Carolina.
Antle, who was a magician before he founded his first private zoo, now owns and runs Myrtle Beach Safari which features big cats and other endangered species, is being held on unspecified charges, according to sheriff records.
The arrest is Antle’s latest tangle with law enforcement, following his indictment on wildlife trafficking, animal cruelty and other charges in late 2020. The indictment came after a months-long investigation conducted by the Animal Law Unit of Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s office. Two of Antle’s daughters were also charged with violating the Endangered Species Act and cruelty to animals as a result of the indictment.
In addition to Antle’s legal woes, accusations of sexual misconduct and predatory behavior, much of it from women both previously employed and romantically engaged with Antle, led him to earn his own Tiger King spinoff documentary, released in 2021.
Activists cheered his latest arrest in a statement to The Post. A statement released by Marty Irby, executive director of Animal Wellness Action, read;
“We applaud the Dept. of Justice and FBI for arresting Bhagavan ‘Doc’ Antle, a longtime scoundrel engaged in the egregious and inhumane trade of dangerous big cats.
“Irresponsible breeding, inhumane living conditions, and public exploitation is a serious problem in the U.S., and caging these wild animals also presents a threat to human health and safety.”