PETA Statement: ‘Doc’ Antle Hit With New Felony Counts of Wildlife Trafficking

For Immediate Release:
June 16, 2022

David Perle 202-483-7382

Winchester, Va.Tiger King villain and Myrtle Beach Safari operator Bhagavan “Doc” Antle has been charged with two felony counts of wildlife trafficking under Virginia law. Antle, who is already facing felony wildlife-trafficking and cruelty-to-animals charges related to trafficking lion cubs from the now-defunct Wilson’s Wild Animal Park, also has a detention hearing this afternoon related to his pending federal charges for money laundering. Below, please find a statement from PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel for Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet:

Since this wildlife exploiter couldn’t put himself in the animals’ place, he ought to end up where he put them: behind bars. As felony charges mount, PETA is calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to stop granting Antle special treatment and shut down the wildlife-handling events that have been at the root of his alleged crimes, caused egregious suffering to animals, and lined his sleazy pockets.

More details about Antle’s exploitation of animals are available here.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind