‘Tiger King‘ might be the story of Joe Exotic, but it also introduces us to several big cat owners, and how these individuals are almost like cult leaders. Netflix has smartly named the episode ‘Cult of Personality’, where we’re given a glimpse at how these individuals operate. One name that keeps popping up, and seems to be revered by other big cat owners, is Doc Bhagavan Antle’s.
Doc Antle, who gets the name because he’s a doctor of mystical science, is the head of T.I.G.E.R.S. On the docuseries he says he’s got a ‘complex personal life’, which is not meant for prime time television. This is not surprising, because Antle’s family on the T.I.G.E.R.S. reserve are mostly women, and it is unclear about the kind of relationship he has with them.
In ‘Tiger King’ several people seem to have different ideas. Some think Antle has three wives, while others feel it is closer to 4 to 5 wives. Exotic says he has 3 to 4 girlfriends, while Kelci says he has nine wives. Curious to find out about the wives and girlfriends of Doc Antle? Read on.
Doc Antle’s Wives and Girlfriends:
Rolling Stone has an extensive report on Doc Antle and T.I.G.E.R.S. According to them, to be eligible for Antle’s apprenticeship, one does not need formal education. However, recruits have to be single and childless. They can’t expect any time off for any reason, and must be “within 20 pounds of their ‘perfect athletic weight or working to get there,’ able to do push-ups, pull-ups, and run a 12-minute mile. They must be vegetarian and can’t smoke or drink.”
Furthermore, they must all have watched ‘The Devil Wears Prada‘ and ‘Kill Bill: Volume 2‘. They have to submit a photo and be committed to the lifestyle there. In return, they get food and lodging, cable and internet, and a stipend of $100 per week (as per ‘Tiger King’).
The process is tenuous, and not many make it. Moreover, Barabara Fisher, a former apprentice, says that women would have to sleep with Antle to get to the top. Without casting aspersions on Antle’s character, it is true that he has often asked women to dress in sexy outfits, to lure people. Moreover, we know that he refers to some of the women as his girlfriends. Once again, this is heard in the docuseries.
Some of the women we are introduced to are, China York, whose real name was Michelle, Moksha Bybee, whose real name was Meredith, and Rajani Ferrante, whose real name was Renee. According to the Myrtle Beach Safari page, Rajani joined in 1998 and is the assistant director. She has degrees in history and anthropology. She’s in charge of managing the safari’s facilities and is the caregiver to all feline and canine babies.
Moksha has been with Antle since 2001, and grew up in Utah, surrounded by farm animals. She holds the position of General Manager. Her moniker is ‘Monkey Mama’ as she raises all baby monkeys and apes. China is the director of the Miami facility. She grew up in Pensacola, working at a Domino’s when she was 17. Now, she seems to be living the dream.
The Rolling Stone article also mentions a woman named Mari, who was the tour guide then. However, they reported that a co-worker, by the name of Rob, lived with her, meaning she possibly didn’t have any long-term relationship with Antle. Among other women who seem to work for Antle, is China’s sister, Amy, who worked at a Virginia zoo, before joining Doc.
It is clear that Doc is surrounded by women, and he claims to have always enjoyed attention from the opposite sex. While his Facebook status shows married, we don’t know who he is married to. Even in the Rolling Stone article, Antle says that he’s not married, but wears a ring to keep the honest women at bay. Thus, it is not quite possible to be sure of Doc’s marital status. That said, he is an alpha male and seems to be very specific in his choice of staff members, especially women, according to Barbara (who’d changed her name to Bala).
Thus, it would be safe to say that Antle has a complex personal life, possibly with more than one woman. However, it cannot be denied, that for Antle, his animals always come first.
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