Lord “Doc” Antle, who featured prominently in the hit documentary tiger king, has pleaded guilty to four felony counts related to the buying and selling of endangered animals in Virginia.
He is to be sentenced on September 14, 2023. He faces up to 20 years in prison, but will remain free on bond until sentencing.
Attorney General Jason Miares said in a news release that Antle was accused of illegally purchasing endangered lion cubs for display and profit at his South Carolina zoo. The jury convicted Antle on Friday of two felony counts of wildlife trafficking and conspiracy to commit wildlife trafficking.
Antal came to the fore Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, A Netflix documentary miniseries focusing on tiger breeders.
Beyond his sentence, Antle was acquitted of five counts of animal cruelty, and Judge Alexander Eden dismissed four additional animal cruelty charges against Antle and all charges against his two adult daughters, The Winchester star reported. told.
Prosecutor Michelle Welch said Antle’s Myrtle Beach Safari’s petting zoo encouraged the trainer to maintain a steady supply of immature lion cubs. He bought them from the Wilson Wild Animal Park near Winchester, calling the arrangement the “cub pipeline” from Virginia to South Carolina.
Antle was convicted in 2020 of multiple crimes, including felony counts of wildlife trafficking and conspiracy.
Defense attorney Erin Harrigan described Antle’s prosecution as politically motivated in response to growing public outcry against the exploitation of wild animals for entertainment purposes.