Reality Star Is the Latest Public Figure to Participate in Publicity Stunt at Roadside Zoo Featured in Tiger King
For Immediate Release:
January 25, 2021
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Myrtle Beach, S.C. – After reality star Larsa Pippen was photographed swimming with juvenile and adult tigers at Myrtle Beach Safari—the roadside zoo operated by “Doc” Antle of Tiger King infamy—PETA fired off an urgent letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) asking it to hold Antle accountable for allowing members of the public to have direct contact with dangerous wild animals in apparent violation of federal law.
The stunt is nothing new for Antle: PETA previously alerted the USDA that rapper Lil Pump dangerously posed with juvenile tigers and that rapper Jin Gates held a full-grown jaguar on his lap at Antle’s facility. The agency generally considers tigers older than 12 to 16 weeks to be too big and too strong to interact with the public, as such encounters “cannot reasonably be conducted without a significant risk of harm to the animal or the public,” but Antle continues to allow these dangerous encounters to take place.
“Tigers used for photo ops are typically separated from their mothers as babies, robbed of everything that is natural and important to them, and constantly tormented by strangers,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Debbie Metzler. “PETA is calling on the USDA to stop standing by and letting ‘Doc’ Antle endanger vulnerable tigers as well as fame-hungry pseudo-celebrities and reminding everyone of the lesson that should have been learned from Tiger King: Stay away from roadside zoos.”
PETA further notes that Pippen’s interactions with the tigers put them at risk of contracting COVID-19. Captive tigers have tested positive for it, and the USDA has issued guidance advising that all hands-on encounters with big cats be suspended—but Antle’s big-cat photo ops have continued.
In October, Antle was indicted on one felony count of wildlife trafficking, one felony count of conspiracy to traffic in wildlife, and 13 additional misdemeanor offenses in Virginia.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview that fosters violence toward other animals. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.