We’re starting to think—a scant nine million years after it originally debuted—that some of the people featured in Netflix’s Tiger King might not actually be as good at taking care of tigers as they had previously claimed. Take, for instance, news today (reported by The Wrap) which relays that Bhagavan “Doc” Antle, one of the many large cat people featured in the Netflix docuseries, has been indicted on 15 charges related to wildlife trafficking and animal cruelty, including two felony counts of wildlife trafficking and conspiracy to wildlife traffic. (While we’re on the hindsight train, we’re also really starting to question whether shining extra light on their various business dealings and practices was a net win for many of the private zookeepers and animal handlers featured in the series, extra Cameo cash or not.)
Antle’s Myrtle Beach Safari was raided by authorities last December (before Tiger King came out, in fact) as part of an attempt to track illegal lion cub trafficking, and his operations have apparently been under investigation by authorities for the last several months. Yesterday he had these new charges dropped atop him by the Virginia attorney general’s office, which also indicted two of Antle’s daughters on misdemeanor counts of violating the Endangered Species Act and animal cruelty. Many of the allegations, apparently, stem from Antle’s alleged business dealings with Kevin A. Wilson, owner of the now-shuttered Wilson’s Wild Animal Park, who reportedly provided Antle with three lion cubs after his park was shut down by authorities in late 2019.
Anyway, congratulations are once again in order for Tiger King, a truly prescient series when it comes to profiling and lifting up the “Ugh, what a fucking mess” feeling that surrounds, not just pretty much any story centered on the keeping and movement of these large and majestic animals, but also just sort of the whole vibe of the entire year in which it debuted. The brand is strong!