'Tiger King' star 'Doc' Antle convicted of 4 felonies in Virginia wildlife trafficking case

"Tiger King" star Bhagavan "Doc" Antle was convicted last week in a Virginia wildlife trafficking case.

Attorney General Jason Miyares said Antle illegally purchased endangered lion clubs in Frederick County for display at his zoo in South Carolina.

He was convicted of two felony counts of wildlife trafficking and two felony counts of conspiring to wildlife traffic. His sentencing is scheduled for September 14, 2023.

"Virginia's animal cruelty laws are not taken lightly by my office," Miyares said in a statement. "I'm proud of my Animal Law Unit for their tireless work and I’m thrilled that the jury not only agreed with us but sent a message that Virginia does not tolerate wildlife animal trafficking."


FILE - King Richards Faire is set to open for the season. Dr. Bhagavan Antle brings animals from his preserve in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. (Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

The investigation began in 2019.

Antle is featured prominently in "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness," a 2020 Netflix documentary miniseries that focused on tiger breeders and private zoo operators in the U.S.

The series focused heavily on Oklahoma zoo operator Joe Exotic, who also was targeted for animal mistreatment and was convicted in a plot to kill a rival, Carole Baskin.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.