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Doc Antle

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Doc Antle
Bhagavan Antle

(1960-03-25) March 25, 1960 (age 60)
Salinas, California, United States
Other namesKevin Antle
Known forTiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness
Doc Antle with tiger at Myrtle Beach Safari

Bhagavan Antle (born March 25, 1960)[1], also known as Doc Antle and Kevin Antle. Antle is an American exotic animal trainer, author and conservationist, primarily known for his work with elephants, big cats and great apes, as well as a wildlife park operator.[2] He is the founder and director of The Institute for Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (T.I.G.E.R.S.), a 50-acre (20 ha) wildlife preserve in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He is also the owner of Myrtle Beach Safari, a tour that runs through the preserve[3], and is the executive director of a 501(c)(3) conservation organization known as the Rare Species Fund.[2] Antle has faced criticism from animal rights activists that oppose the keeping of animals in captivity. He is a big cat and great ape conservationist.[2]


In 2001, Antle was on stage with Britney Spears during her performance of the "I'm a Slave 4 U" single at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards, which featured a caged tiger (wrangled by Antle) and a large albino python draped over Spears' shoulders.[4] Antle has other ties to the film industry, having worked as an animal expert on films such as Dr. Dolittle and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. He has appeared on late-night talk shows and also provided animals for movies including The War, Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Mighty Joe Young, and The Jungle Book 2.[4]

Antle was also integral to the production of three documentaries: Nat Geo Wild’s Super Cat,[5] Nature’s Jaguar: Year of the Cat,[6] and PBS’s Big Cats.[7]

In 2008, Anjana the chimp was with Antle and her trainers. They were hand-raising two white tiger cubs at TIGERS, and Anjana started mimicking care. Anjana became a part of the daily interactions with the cubs.[2] Barry Bland, a freelance photographer who shoots for the Daily Mail in London, photographed the interaction between Anjana and the cubs, and the images went viral.[2][8] That same year Suryia and Roscoe, an orangutan and an orphaned blue tick hound, became the best-known animal friendship at TIGERS appearing on the Oprah Winfrey Show in Chicago.[9] The “animal friendships” theme would be visited and revisited with Antle’s publication of three children’s books.

In 2014, Hercules the liger, raised by Antle at Myrtle Beach Safari, was touted by the Guiness Book of World Records to be the largest big cat on the planet.[10][11]

In 2015, Rolling Stone magazine put together a video of a visit to the TIGERS facility entitled, Doc Antle and His Animal Friends.[12]

In late December 2019, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and Horry County Police Department visited Doc Antle's Myrtle Beach Safari.[13] Antle said the agencies came to collect DNA samples from three young lions that descended from Wilson's Wild Animal Park in Virginia which was closed down due to animal welfare issues.[14]

Antle was one of the people featured in the 2020 Netflix television documentary Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.


Doc Antle founded the Rare Species Fund (RSF) as a grassroots organization that provides financial support and practical training to in-situ wildlife conservation initiatives,[15] putting money and equipment directly into the hands of small on the ground conservation efforts such as the rebuilding of Dr. Rudi Putra's Soraya Ranger Station and Forum Konservasi Leuser (FKL) Research Facility in the Leucer Ecosystem of Sumatra, Indonesia,[16] as well as suppling the Conservation Through Public Health program in Uganda protecting some of the last mountain gorillas.[17]

The Rare Species Fund was a partner in establishing the U.S. Postal Service’s “Save Vanishing Species” stamp in 2011.[18] It features the face of an Amur tiger cub. Net proceeds contribute to projects administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These projects work to conserve tigers, rhinos, great apes, marine turtles and African and Asian elephants.

The Rare Species Fund is a partner with International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF).[19] The ICCF brings together leaders at the highest level of government, business, and the NGO community to set the conservation and environmental agenda in an effort to tailor governmental policy and shape future legislation. In 2016 RSF was recognized by ICCF in their Partner Spotlight, highlighting the work RSF is doing with Gorilla Conservation Through Public Health in Uganda to save mountain gorillas.


  1. ^ LeWine, Lia (April 3, 2020). "'Tiger King's Doc Antle: What Happened To The Netflix Star And Where Is He Now?". Women's Health. Hearst. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e Port, Ian S. (September 21, 2015). "The Man Who Made Animal Friends". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  3. ^ Baxter-Wright, Dusty (March 25, 2020). "Tiger King: Who are Bhagavan 'Doc'; Antle's wives and where are they now?". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Rubin, Rebecca (March 30, 2020). "'Tiger King's' Doc Antle and Britney Spears Shared Stage for 'I'm a Slave 4 U' VMAs Performance". Variety. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
  5. ^ Size Doesn't Always Matter | Super Cat, retrieved May 22, 2020
  6. ^ Jaguar - Year of the Cat (Nature Documentary), retrieved May 22, 2020
  7. ^ "Big Cats | Nature | PBS". Nature. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  8. ^ "Anjana the Chimpanzee helps care for 2 White Tiger Cubs". Barry Bland. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  9. ^ "WATCH: Suryia And Roscoe, Best Friends Forever | People Magazine". Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  10. ^ "Largest living cat". Guinness World Records. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  11. ^ Andres Jauregui (September 13, 2013). "Meet The World's Largest Living Cat". HuffPost. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  12. ^ Doc Antle and His Animal Friends, retrieved May 21, 2020
  13. ^ Montgomery, Annette (December 11, 2019). "Myrtle Beach Safari owner said 'Lions are a part of a multi-state investigation'". WPDE.
  14. ^ "Wilson's Wild Animal Park owner faces 46 animal cruelty charges". WTVR. November 13, 2019.
  15. ^ Designs, Eagle Web. "Complementing the Educational messages of T.I.G.E.R.S. | Rare Species Fund". Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  16. ^ "2017 Progress Review - Leuser Ecosystem | News | Global Conservation". Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  17. ^ "Gorilla and Wildlife Conservation in Africa". Conservation Through Public Health. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  18. ^ "The Save Vanishing Species Stamp". Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  19. ^ "The ICCF Group". Retrieved May 21, 2020.

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