Tiger King's Doc Antle Charged with Felony Wildlife Trafficking and Animal Cruelty

16 Janvier, 2021, 06:30 | Auteur: Therese Cote

In March, Netflix docuseries Tiger King introduced viewers to the GW Exotic Animal Park and feud between then owner Joe Exotic (a roadside zookeeper and animal breeder) and Carole Baskin (owner of Big Cat Rescue sanctuary who worked to shut down Exotic's zoo), along with other eccentric characters classified loosely as "big cat people", including Antle and Jeffrey Lowe, who all engage in exploiting wild animals for profit.

Antle's "Tiger King" co-star Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, better known as Joe Exotic, is now in prison for his role in a murder-for-hire plot against Carole Baskin, who recently appeared in ABC's "Dancing With the Stars".

Two of Antle's daughters have also been charged.

The charges, which were announced on Friday by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring's office, are a result of a long investigation into the relationship between Antle and Wilson, which allegedly "found that both men trafficked lion cubs between Virginia and South Carolina", according to the attorney general's office. HSUS and Baskin urge government officials and the general public to support The Big Cat Public Safety Act, proposed federal legislation that aims to ban ownership of big cats and the use of cubs for photo opportunities.

Antle, Antle's daughters Tawny Antle and Tilakam Watterson, and Keith Wilson-the owner of Wilson's Wild Animal Park-have all been indicted by a grand jury in Frederick County, Virginia. The investigation included a raid of Antle's South Carolina property in December 2019 by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

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Wilson has also been accused of conspiracy to commit felony wildlife trafficking, felony wildlife trafficking, and 17 misdemeanor counts. Wilson and Dall'Acqua face trial next year for those charges.

"The dominoes are falling one by one - almost every animal abuser featured in "Tiger King" is now in custody, out of business or facing administrative or criminal charges", said PETA Foundation lawyer Brittany Peet, who appeared in the Netflix series, in a statement to The Times.

The animals were seized during execution of a search warrant on August 15 and 16, 2019 at Wilson's Wild Animal Park. In June, Stark was stripped of his USDA license after the agency said he had violated the Animal Welfare Act more than 100 times.

The alleged mistreatment by Antle was done in a "cruel, brutal or inhuman manner, so as to produce torture or unnecessary suffering".

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