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Tiger King star Doc Antle is arrested by FBI on ‘money laundering charges’ in South Carolina

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Tiger King star Doc Antle is arrested by FBI on ‘money laundering charges’ in South Carolina… after previously being indicted for animal cruelty and trafficking

  • The 62-year-old was booked in Horry County just after 3:30 p.m. local time Friday
  • In line with TMZ, federal law enforcement sources confirmed ‘the costs should do with money laundering’
  • The owner of Myrtle Beach Safari – born Bhagavan Antle – is ready to look in court next week 
  • Antle found worldwide fame after he was featured within the 2020 Netflix documentary Tiger King, which premiered in March 
  • In October 2020, the animal trainer was indicted for felony wildlife trafficking in Virginia, after he allegedly trafficked lion cubs between South Carolina and Virginia
  • He’s also faced criticism from PETA for allowing celebrity guests like Beyoncé, Floyd Mayweather, and Larsa Pippen to physically interact with wild animals

Doc Antle, a wild animal trainer featured in the favored ‘Tiger King’ series on Netflix, has been arrested by the FBI in South Carolina on money laundering charges.

In line with TMZ, the 62-year-old was booked in Horry County just after 3:30 p.m. local time Friday, with federal law enforcement sources confirming ‘the costs should do with money laundering.’

The owner of Myrtle Beach Safari – born Bhagavan Antle – is ready to look in court next week. 

Arrested: Tiger King star Doc Antle, 62, has been arrested in South Carolina earlier today on money laundering charges in line with TMZ, and is ready to look in court next week

This is just not the primary legal issue Antle – who has long been the goal of criticism over his wildlife tropical preserve – has faced. 

In October 2020, the American animal trainer was indicted for felony wildlife trafficking in Virginia, after he allegedly trafficked lion cubs between South Carolina and Virginia.

As per the state’s attorney general, Doc was charged with one felony count of wildlife trafficking, one felony count of conspiracy to wildlife traffic, and 13 misdemeanor charges regarding animal cruelty and the Endangered Species Act. 

Legal issues: In October 2020, the animal trainer was indicted for felony wildlife trafficking in Virginia, after he allegedly trafficked lion cubs between South Carolina and Virginia

Legal issues: In October 2020, the animal trainer was indicted for felony wildlife trafficking in Virginia, after he allegedly trafficked lion cubs between South Carolina and Virginia

Doc’s daughters, Tawny Antle and Tilakum Watterson, were also charged with misdemeanors.

Tawny was charged with one misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals, while Tilakum was charged with two misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals and two misdemeanor counts of violating the Endangered Species Act.  

Doc told TMZ on the time: ‘I’m terribly shocked and disillusioned at the costs which have been filed against me by the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the way they’ve sought to involve my daughters on this matter.’

Ongoing criticism: He's also faced criticism from PETA for allowing celebrity guests like Beyoncé, Floyd Mayweather, and Larsa Pippen to physically interact with wild animals

Ongoing criticism: He’s also faced criticism from PETA for allowing celebrity guests like Beyoncé, Floyd Mayweather, and Larsa Pippen to physically interact with wild animals

He went on to ‘categorically deny’ the costs in addition to ‘any act or conduct that would ever be regarded as ‘animal cruelty.” 

He’s also faced criticism from PETA for allowing celebrity guests like Beyoncé, Floyd Mayweather, and Larsa Pippen to physically interact with wild animals at his park. 

Antle found worldwide fame after he was featured within the 2020 Netflix documentary Tiger King, which premiered in March. 

The show follows the bitter rivalry between Joseph ‘Joe Exotic’ Maldonado-Passage – who’s the currently imprisoned founding father of the infamous Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma – and Carole Baskin, the owner of Big Cat Rescue in Florida.

His claim to fame: Antle found worldwide fame after he was featured in the 2020 Netflix documentary Tiger King, which premiered in March

His claim to fame: Antle found worldwide fame after he was featured within the 2020 Netflix documentary Tiger King, which premiered in March

Antle is portrayed as Joe’s mentor. He can also be shown to have a cult-like approach to business, as a polygamist with a string of devoted female worker followers.

The California native was also a part of Britney Spears’ iconic 2001 I’m a Slave 4 U VMAs performance, during which he was the animal handler.

Spears, 40, began the show inside a cage with Antle and a liger – a hybrid of a tiger mother and lion father – then walked onto the stage where she danced with a python wrapped round her shoulders.

In line with his website, he has also worked as an animal handler on movies including Ace Ventura, Dr. Doolittle, Mighty Joe Young and The Jungle Book. 

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