Uncovering the Truth: Doc Antle’s Polygamous Lifestyle on Tiger King
Netflix’s true-crime docuseries, Tiger King, has been a source of controversy since its release in March 2020. The show revolves around the lives of big cat owners and their involvement in the exotic animal trade. One of the central figures in the series is Bhagavan “Doc” Antle, the owner of Myrtle Beach Safari, who has been accused of running a cult-like operation and practicing polygamy. In this article, we will uncover the truth behind Doc Antle’s polygamous lifestyle and explore the allegations against him.
Who is Doc Antle?
Bhagavan Antle, also known as Doc Antle, is a controversial figure in the world of exotic animal ownership. He has been in the business for over 40 years and is the owner of Myrtle Beach Safari, a wildlife preserve in South Carolina. Antle has appeared in numerous films, TV shows, and commercials with his animals, and has been praised by celebrities such as Conan O’Brien and Shaquille O’Neal.
One of the most significant accusations against Antle is that he practices polygamy. Multiple women who have worked with him at the Myrtle Beach Safari have come forward and shared their stories, claiming that Antle requires his female employees to call him “Bhagavan,” which is a Hindu word for god. The women also allege that they were encouraged to engage in sexual relationships with Antle and were treated like his property. One former employee, Barbara Fisher, told the Daily Mail, “There’s nothing romantic about the relationships he has with these girls. He has two or three wives at a time who are with him 24/7.”
Antle, however, denies these allegations. In an interview with Vanity Fair, he said that he was “not married to anybody” and that he did not have “wives” but instead had “partners in different ways.” He claims that he has a “family-style relationship” with the women who work with him and that he treats everyone as equals.
Apart from the polygamy allegations, Antle has also been accused of running a cult-like operation at the Myrtle Beach Safari. The show depicts Antle as a charismatic leader who controls the lives of his employees and followers. Ex-employees have come forward and expressed their concerns about Antle’s behavior, claiming that he dictates what they do, wear, and even eat. One employee, Tawny Antle (no relation to Doc Antle), told People Magazine that Antle had his employees living in subpar conditions and controlling their every move.
Antle, however, denies the cult allegations, saying that he is not a cult leader but a “tiger king” who is passionate about these animals. He says that he treats his employees as family and that they are free to leave whenever they want. He also claims that the living conditions at the Myrtle Beach Safari are up to par with state regulations.
The allegations against Doc Antle have left many people wondering about the legitimacy of the exotic animal trade and its practices. Many viewers of Tiger King have expressed their outrage on social media, calling for stricter regulations and laws to protect these animals from being exploited.
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) has also spoken out against Antle and his practices. In a statement released in April 2020, the AZA said that Antle’s operation was not accredited by them and that they did not condone the methods used at the Myrtle Beach Safari.
In conclusion, the allegations against Doc Antle are serious, and they have brought to light the dark side of the exotic animal trade. While Antle denies the allegations, the stories shared by his former employees raise concerns about the treatment of animals and people in this industry. It’s time for society to take a closer look at the practices of the exotic animal trade and recognize the importance of protecting these animals.
Q: Does Doc Antle still own the Myrtle Beach Safari?
A: Yes, Antle still owns and operates the Myrtle Beach Safari.
Q: Have any legal actions been taken against Doc Antle?
A: As of now, no legal actions have been taken against Antle. However, the USDA has cited him for multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
Q: Is the exotic animal trade legal?
A: Yes, it is legal to own exotic animals in the United States, but it is highly regulated. However, the industry has come under scrutiny for its practices in recent years.
Q: What can people do to help protect exotic animals?
A: People can start by supporting accredited zoos and sanctuaries that prioritize animal welfare. They can also donate to organizations that work to protect these animals, raise awareness, and urge their government representatives to pass stricter regulations and laws to protect these animals from being exploited.