RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Attorney General Mark Herring announced animal cruelty and wildlife trafficking indictments against a man featured in the popular Netflix series “Tiger King.”
Herring says Bhagavan “Doc” Antle and the owner of a roadside zoo in Northern Virginia trafficked lion cubs between Virginia and Antle’s property in South Carolina called Myrtle Beach Safari.
The indictments come after a months-long investigation by Attorney General Herring’s Animal Law Unit.
This investigation included the execution of a search warrant at Antle’s South Carolina property in December 2019 by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Agency.
Antle has been charged with 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.
Keith A. Wilson, owner of Wilson’s Wild Animal Park in Frederick County, Virginia , 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.
Additionally, two of Doc Antle’s daughters have also been charged.
Tawny Antle has been charged with one misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals and one misdemeanor count of violating the Endangered Species Act.
Tilakum Watterson has been charged with two misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals and two misdemeanor counts of violating the Endangered Species Act.
Antle, Wilson, and Antle’s daughters were all charged by the Grand Jury of Frederick County.
In November 2019, Attorney General Herring announced that Keith Wilson and his nephew Christian Dall’Acqua had both been indicted on 46 counts of animal cruelty by a grand jury in Frederick County.
A trial date has been set in the Wilson and Dall’Acqua case for June 21-25, 2021.
In August 2019, Attorney General Herring’s Animal Law Unit secured custody of 119 animals that were seized from Wilson’s “roadside zoo” after a judge issued an order finding that Wilson “cruelly treated, neglected, or deprived the animal[s] of adequate care.”
The seized animals included lions, tigers, bears, camels, goats, water buffalo, and more.
The animals are currently in the care of animal control agencies and exotic and agricultural animal rescue partner organizations.
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