Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General
Jason S. Miyares
202 North 9th Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
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Attorney General Miyares Prosecutes “Tiger King” Star Doc Antle
~Antle was convicted of four felonies in Frederick County~
RICHMOND, VA – Attorney General Jason Miyares and his team successfully prosecuted Bhagavan Antle, more commonly known as “Doc Antle” from the Netflix series “Tiger King” last Friday. Antle was accused of illegally purchasing endangered lion cubs in Frederick County for display and profit at his zoo business in South Carolina.
A Frederick County jury convicted Bhagavan Antle of two felony counts of wildlife trafficking and two felony counts of conspiring to wildlife traffic. Antle’s sentencing is scheduled for September 14, 2023.
The Office of the Attorney General's Animal Law Unit led the investigation, which began in 2019, and prosecuted the case to secure the convictions after a week-long trial.
“Virginia’s animal cruelty laws are not taken lightly by my office. I’m proud of my Animal Law Unit for their tireless work and I’m thrilled that the jury not only agreed with us but sent a message that Virginia does not tolerate wildlife animal trafficking,” said Attorney General Miyares.
These convictions would not have been possible without assistance from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, Virginia State Police, Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office, Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office, Frederick County Sheriff’s Office and the Richmond Police Department. The Frederick County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, the Virginia Animal Fighting Task Force, Dr. Mary Cogliano of the Unites States Fish and Wildlife Service, University of California at Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory, the Wild Animal Sanctuary, Dr. Ernesto Dominguez-Villegas, Dr. Felicia Knightly of the Memphis Zoo, Craig Hoover of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the United States Department of Agriculture Investigative and Enforcement Services were also crucial partners in this investigation.