PETITION TARGET: Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring
Charged with illegally trafficking tiny lion cubs between South Carolina and Virginia, conspiracy to violate the Endangered Species Act, and animal cruelty, Bhagavan “Doc” Antle — best known for his role in Tiger King — has officially been indicted after an investigation by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s Animal Law Unit, New York Times reported.
Authorities searched Antle’s Myrtle Beach Safari and Keith Wilson’s Wild Animal Park, seizing 119 “cruelly treated, neglected, or deprived” animals from the latter roadside zoo, according to the Commonwealth of Virginia Office of the Attorney General.
Trafficked lion and tiger cubs are typically bred in captivity, where they’re ripped away from their mothers at birth and beaten or whipped for displaying natural behaviors, according to Big Cat Rescue.
When they’re too old to be used for petting and photo opportunities, they’re either killed or stuffed into small, barren-wire cages for the rest of their lives. The females are forced to give birth to the next generation of victims.
Lions, tigers, and all big cats deserve to be safe from illegal trafficking. Sign this petition urging Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring to prosecute the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law, including a life-long ban on ever having any kind of exotic animal again.