“Tiger King” celebrity Doc Antle was busted for allegedly trafficking lion cubs between Virginia and South Carolina, authorities said Friday.
The famously ponytailed exotic zoo owner — who was featured as a rival of Joe Exotic in the hit Netflix docuseries — was hit with 15 wildlife trafficking and animal cruelty charges, Virginia’s attorney general announced in a press release.
The agency’s animal law unit spent months investigating Antle’s Myrtle Beach Safari zoo in South Carolina.
Investigators also looked at the Wild Animal Park in Winchester, Virginia, which is owned by Antle’s partner Keith Wilson, the officials said.
Investigators say they found that the partners “violated the Endangered Species Act” by moving the animals between the two zoos — and between states — in poor conditions.
Wilson was also charged with trafficking.
In total, Antle was charged with wildlife trafficking, conspiracy to wildlife traffic and 13 additional misdemeanor charges linked to the animal cruelty and the Endangered Species Act.
His daughters, Tawny Antle and Tilakum Watterson, also face animal cruelty charges.
Details of the charges weren’t immediately clear Friday.
In November 2019, Wilson was previously indicted on 46 counts of animal cruelty.
Law enforcement seized 119 animals from Wilson’s zoo after a judge found he “cruelly treated” tigers, bears, camels and other animals. He will go to trial in June 2021.
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