Doc Antle is an animal trainer and a private zoo operator who has gained fame for keeping and breeding big cats and other exotic animals. He is also a controversial figure who has faced allegations of animal cruelty and criticism of his personal life. The publicity he attracts has made him one of the most famous animal trainers in the United States, and Doc Antle’s net worth is now $10 million. Here is how he accrued his wealth.
Doc Antle’s Early Life
Mahamayavi Bhagavan Antle was born in Salinas, California, on March 25, 1960. He grew up on a cattle ranch in Southern California, which is where he developed a love for animals. As his name was unusual, he became known as Kevin at school, and this is still a name he uses occasionally. In his early 20s, Antle traveled around China and obtained a Doctoral degree in Chinese medicine. It was then that he earned the nickname ‘Doc,’ and he has been known as Doc Antle.
Doc Antle founded The Institute for Greatly Endangered and Rare Species, also known as T.I.G.E.R.S. It is a private zoo in which Antle trains and breeds big cats and other exotic species. He opens his zoo for tours of the facilities. Not only does Antler train and breed animals at his zoo, but he also works towards the conservation of rare species, and he supports many charities with this aim. He is an Executive Director of the Rare Species Fund, which is a non-profit conservation organization. His work with this organization involves conserving wildlife across the globe. Representatives from the Exxon Corporation approached Antle in 1982. They asked him to deliver a presentation with a tiger for their annual convention. A year later, the company asked him to train tigers for their ‘Put a Tiger in Your Tank’ ad campaign. The tigers from the campaign became Antle’s first animal ambassadors, and they continued to appear in Exxon Corporation’s advertisements for six years. The use of Antle’s tigers in advertising campaigns raised his profile as an animal trainer. His profile was further raised in 2001 when he appeared onstage alongside Britney Spears when she performed ‘I’m a Slave for You’ at the MTV Video Music Awards. The performance featured Spears wearing an albino python draped over her shoulders and a caged tiger.
Antle has also worked behind the scenes as an animal handler for films featuring large and potentially dangerous animals. Some of the films with which he has been involved include ‘Ace Ventura: Pet Detective’ and ‘Dr. Dolittle.’ Furthermore, Antler has provided animals for many feature films. Some of these include ‘Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book,’ ‘Mighty Joe Young,’ ‘The War,’ ‘The Jungle Book 2,’ and ‘Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.’ Antler has featured in several documentaries about big cats. Some of the documentaries in which he appears include PBS’s ‘Big Cats,’ Nature’s ‘Jaguar: Year of the Cat,’ and Nat Geo Wild’s ‘Super Cat.’ Most recently, Doc Antler featured alongside several other private breeders in the 2020 Netflix documentary ‘Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness.’ Throughout his career, Doc Antler has appeared as a guest on many talk shows and late-night shows. He often takes along some of his animals to accompany him at these guest appearances. For example, he appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show in Chicago in 2008. He took along with him an orangutan called Suryia and an orphaned blue tick hound called Roscoe.
Doc Antle is almost as famous for the controversies surrounding his professional life as he is for his success. The first time he attracted negative attention to himself was in 1989, when he was fined for abandoning peacocks and deer at his zoo in Virginia. It was the first in a string of fines, as he has had over 35 USDA violations for mistreating his animals. In 2019, Antle’s Myrtle Beach Safari was raided by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. They raided the private zoo along with officials from the Horry County Police Department. Antle later explained that they had come to take DNA tests from three lions, which he claims came from a Virginian animal park that had closed. The documentary ‘Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness’ raised further questions about Antle’s treatment of animals. Former zoo operator Joe exotic made allegations that Antle used gas chambers to kill tigers to make way for the expansion of his breeding program. Controversies surrounding Antle’s treatment of animals has continued into 2020, as he has been investigated for the illegal sale of tigers and other big cats, says Wikipedia. In October, he was indicted on multiple felony and misdemeanor charges, including nine misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, four misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to violate the Endangered Species Act, one felony count of conspiracy to traffic wildlife, and one felony count of wildlife trafficking. He was charged along with his daughter and the owner of Wilson’s Wild Animal Park in Frederick County, Kevin A. Wilson.
Doc Antle’s Net Worth
According to Style Caster, Doc Antle’s net worth is $10 million. He has made some of his money through his zoo, at which he hosts tours. Antle has also made money through his television appearances and through attending events with his big cats and other exotic creatures.
His Personal Life
There have been repeated allegations that Doc Antle has multiple wives, says The Sun. However, he denies these claims and says that he has never remarried after his wife died in a car crash in Myrtle Beach in 1995, although he admits that he has many women in his life. With his deceased wife, Doc Antle has two children; a son, Kody, and a daughter, Tawny. Both his adult children work alongside him at his zoo.