'Tiger King' Star Charged With Animal Cruelty, Wildlife Trafficking
By Sarah Tate
October 9, 2020
A man featured in Netflix's highly popular documentary series Tiger King is now facing multiple indictments on animal cruelty and wildlife trafficking. Bhagavan "Doc" Antle and Keith A. Wilson, owner of Wilson's Wild Animal Park in Frederick County, Virginia, are accused of trafficking lion cubs between Virginia and Antle's Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina, NBC 12 reports.
Attorney General Mark R. Herring's office said the charges come after a month-long investigation, including a December 2019 search of Antle's South Carolina property.
Both Antle and Wilson have been charged with one felony count of wildlife trafficking, one felony county of conspiracy to wildlife traffic, four misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to violate the Endangered Species Act, and nine misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty. Wilson also faces four additional charges for misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to violate the Endangered Species Act.
Two of Antle's daughters were also charged. Tawny Antle is facing 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 animal and two misdemeanor counts of violation the Endangered Species Act.
According to NBC 12, 119 animals were seized from Wilson's property in August 2019 after a judge found he "cruelly treated, neglected, or deprived the animal(s) of adequate care." Wilson and his nephew Christian Dall'Acqua were indicted by grand jury on 46 counts of animal cruelty, and a trial has been set for 2021.
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