RICHMOND, VA. (WBTW) — A former “Tiger King” star has been sentenced and banned from dealing with exotic animals in Virginia for five years, according to the Virginia Attorney General’s Office.
Bhagavan “Doc” Antle has been sentenced to two years with time suspended for each charge to run concurrently, the Virginia Attorney General’s Office said.
Antle was convicted of two felony counts of wildlife trafficking and two felony counts of conspiracy to traffic wildlife. He was accused of illegally purchasing endangered lion cubs in Frederick County, Virginia, which were put on display for profit at his zoo business in Myrtle Beach.
Antle is also required to pay the minimum fee of $2,500 per conviction, which totals to a $10,000 fine. The Virginia Attorney General’s Office said he is not allowed to work, own, possess, broker, buy, sell, trade, transfer, barter or donate any exotic animals in Virginia for five years.
Antle had a sentencing hearing in Frederick County in September, but the decision was delayed until Tuesday.
PETA released the following statement after Antle’s sentencing:
“Antle escaped a prison sentence this time, but he’s still facing multiple federal charges for alleged money laundering and alleged wildlife trafficking of animals, including endangered cheetahs and a chimpanzee. Based on his convictions in Virginia and his years of mistreating animals, including tearing baby big cats, chimpanzees, and other animals away from their mothers to be used in public encounters, PETA is calling on federal authorities to terminate the licenses that keep his sleazy roadside zoo operating.”
For a complete timeline of details in the “Doc” Antle case, click here.
Caleb is a digital producer at News13. Caleb joined the team in January 2023 after graduating from Liberty University. He is from Northern Virginia. Follow Caleb on X, formerly Twitter, and read more of his work here.