Charges against Antle and his daughters were brought by the Grand Jury of Frederick County after a months-long investigation by Herring's Animal Law Unit, according to a press statement from the attorney general's office.
The safari park owner, who appeared in the Netflix documentary earlier this year, is accused of allegedly trafficking lion cubs between Virginia and SC, along with Keith A Wilson, another animal park owner.
Even before he became somewhat of a household name following the release of Tiger King Antle's zoo had been a popular tourist attraction and Antle even worked with Britney Spears iconic 2001 performance at the VMA, which included an on-stage tiger. Two of Antle's daughters, Tawny Antle and Tilakam Watterson, are facing several misdemeanor charges for allegedly violating elements of the Endangered Species Act as well. Gen. Mark R. Herring announced Friday.
Wilson has been "charged with one felony count of wildlife trafficking, one felony count of conspiracy to wildlife traffic, four misdemeanour counts of violating the Endangered Species Act, four misdemeanour counts of conspiracy to violate the Endangered Species Act, and nine misdemeanour counts of animal cruelty".
Currently, five states (Alabama, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin) have virtually no laws pertaining to the possession of wild animals such as these big cats, and even in places where some legal protections do exist, these laws are rarely enforced.
And Doc told how he thought other animal rights activists are behind the threats on his life. I have deep regard and feelings for the animals in my care and would never hurt or abuse them in any way.
Wilson and his nephew Christian Dall'Acqua, who were not featured in "Tiger King", were previously indicted on 46 counts of animal cruelty by the grand jury in Frederick County in November 2019, the attorney general said.
Virginia authorities said they seized more than 100 animals from Wilson's zoo in August 2019-including "lions, tigers, bears, camels, goats, water buffalo" and others that were not specified. The animals were turned over to rescue organizations.
The hits keep on coming for "Tiger King" and the ethically dubious characters in Joe Exotic's orbit.
His statement echoes the emphatic comments he made about himself and his business in the documentary series that captivated lockdowned viewers back in March "It's Shangri-La here", Antle said, in reference to his 50 acre "wildlife preserve" in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.