‘Tiger King’ star ‘Doc’ Antle sentenced to South Carolina jail

by: Sallie Walkup, Braley Dodson, Kevin Accettulla, Steve Roth, Nexstar Multimedia Cable

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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – ‘Tiger King’ star Bhagavan ‘Doc’ Antle has been arrested in South Carolina, prison records show.

Antle, 62, who has no charges listed, was booked into the J. Reuben Long Detention Center at around 5:40 p.m. Friday by the FBI, prison records show.

Authorities did not immediately explain why he was arrested. The FBI’s Kevin Wheeler told Nexstar’s WBTW he had no details at this time, but confirmed he was arrested on Friday. TMZ reports that, according to a source familiar with the investigation, the charges relate to allegations of money laundering.

Antle owns Myrtle Beach Safari in Horry County. He told WBTW in December that the allegations made against him in “Tiger King: The Doc Antle Story” were “absolutely false”.

Information in the documentary accused him of having sex with several minors as an adult – as well as forging the signature of a 15-year-old’s father so they could be legally married. He was also accused of physically assaulting women and using deceptive financial practices in relation to a fundraising organization.

In the docuseries, allegations are made about how the money Antle raised for the Rare Species Fund was spent and if much of the money goes back to his pocket. The Myrtle Beach Safari website states that the fund was established in 1983 and “is a grassroots organization that provides financial support and hands-on training for in situ wildlife conservation initiatives.” The website goes on to say that the fund’s support has mainly focused on projects in South America, Africa and Thailand.

One woman called Antle on the show “Harvey Weinstein of the animal training business. The TIGERS facility at Barefoot Landing has also been mentioned several times in the new docuseries.

In January, Antle waived his right to appear in court on various wildlife trafficking charges stemming from an investigation related to a Virginia wildlife park. His trial is due to begin on October 31. His motions to dismiss the charges were dismissed.

This is a developing story.

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