In Netflix’s fascinating documentary ‘Tiger King’, we first hear about Doc Antle’s trade from Howard Baskin, who calls him one of the most notorious big cat breeders in the country. The reality, however, becomes complex as there seem to be two sides to the story. Antle is the founder and director of The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (T.I.G.E.R.S.), and owns Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina.
Doc Antle is not only one of the biggest names in the business, he is also one of the oldest ones. He is a world-renowned animal trainer and behaviorist, who has worked on several films like ‘Ace Ventura’ and ‘Doctor Dolittle’. He also got the “Doc” in his name for practicing mystical science in China. However, he has also constantly had run-ins with the law, especially with PETA and the United States Department of Agriculture.
Doc Antle Zoo Raid
On December 12, 2019, several South Carolina law enforcement agencies raided Doc Antle’s Myrtle Beach Safari. Though, Doc Antle claimed at the time that the agents were there only to speak with him about a multi-state investigation dealing with three of the lions at the safari.
Clarifying his stand, Antle made a statement to ABC 15 News, “We have the three lions they’re fabulous little babies that are here with us. Many of our guests this summer all hugged them and met them and those lions are permanent residents here at the preserve. The lions are part of an ongoing investigation the state is working on and they wanted us to try and help them look at the trail of where the lions had come from and any ideas or evidence we had about what the lion’s lives had been before they moved here to Myrtle Beach Safari.”
The reports at the time confirm that South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) agents served warrants at the safari. Though the agents didn’t reveal the real reason behind the raid, it is important to note here that no arrest warrants were served, and despite all the hullabaloo, Antle’s zoo is still open to the public and Doc Antle himself remains free.
Read More: Where is Doc Antle Now?