Doc Antle - Bhagavan Antle TIGERS

Mahamayavia Bhagavan Kevin "doc" Antle

Timeline of Citations

THE LIE: As of January 2012 it appears that Antle gave his remaining FL big cats to Marc McCarthy and has not renewed either of his FL permits to keep exotic animals in the state.

THE TRUTH: As of January 2012 Doc Antle gave SOME of his FL big cats to Marc McCarthy and Doc Antle HAS renewed his FL permits to keep exotic animals in the state.

As of 2011 it appears that Mahamayavia Bhagavan Kevin "doc" Antle has only two locations that are licensed under his USDA license number of 56-C-0116. Site 1 is at 851 Folly Ranch Lane Myrtle Beach, SC 29588 where he keeps 51 tigers, 10 leopards, 3 ligers, 2 lions and an assortment of other wild animals. Site 2 is Miami's Jungle Island where he keeps 3 tigers, 1 cougar and an assortment of other wild animals.

THE LIE: Nov 16, 2010 cited again for tiger enclosures that were no different from the one that enabled an escape in Aug 2010.

THE TRUTH: Nov 16, 2010 Keep in mind that the tiger enclosures surpass government regulations, which call for 10' high fences. His tiger enclosures are 12' high with another 2' angled in on top. Even the investigators were stumped as to how the tiger escape was possible. ALL CHARGES AGAINST DOC ANTLE WERE DROPPED!

THE LIE: Sept 10, 2010 cited for failing to house the tiger who had previously escaped in a cage that was any different from the one he had escaped from on Aug 28

THE TRUTH: Sept 10, 2010 This was only a citation because officials were still trying to figure out the bizarre escape. ALL CHARGES AGAINST DOC ANTLE WERE DROPPED!

THE LIE: Aug 28, 2010 Visitors to Miami's Jungle Island were treated to a scarily authentic experience when a tiger sprang from its pen at the tropical tourist attraction. Hundreds of terrified guests ran for safety when the big cat, known as Mahesh, broke out of its enclosure. According to MSNBC, the 3-year-old tiger spent an hour enjoying its newfound freedom before being recaptured.

THE TRUTH: Aug 28, 2010 Hundreds of SURPRISED GUESTS WERE IMMEDIATELY MOVED TO SAFETY when the big cat, known as Mahesh, broke out of its enclosure. All tourists were moved unhurt due to the fast actions put into affect. According to MSNBC, the 3-year-old tiger spent an hour enjoying its newfound freedom before being recaptured, which is a very short time considering the resources needed to; first control the crowd, second safely move the crowd (the safety of the public always comes first), and third capture the tiger. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME IN THE HISTORY OF USA ZOOS WHERE A TIGER ESCAPED INTO A HIGHLY PUBLIC AREA, WALKED AMONG CHILDREN AND ADULTS ALIKE, AND WAS PEACEFULLY ESCORTED BACK TO HIS SPACIOUS ENCLOSURE WITHOUT INCIDENT! IN ALL OTHER CASES IN AZA ZOOS AND OTHERS, THE TIGER OR THE PUBLIC SUFFERED TRAGIC LOSS OF LIFE.

THE LIE: June 8, 2010 failed to have a person of legal age available at Miami's Jungle Island site to let the USDA inspect the facility.

THE TRUTH: June 8, 2010 There was no show at the time and no one was informed that the USDA was coming that day. It was a simple issue of not knowing the USDA would be there to inspect.

THE LIE: May 10, 2009 In AWA Docket No. 09-0085 the judge found that Bhagavan Antle released two tiger to Ray Thunderhawk, who had already lost his USDA license and who had abandoned 75 tigers in Palm Bay, Florida. Thunderhawk runs a pay to play scheme whereby patrons pay to pet and pose with big cats and he took the two tigers from Antle in S.C. to Boston before taking them to the buyer in Miami. The buyer was Mario S. Tabruae of Zoological Imports 2000 located at 16225 SW 172 Av Miami, FL 33187. Tabruae admitted to falsifying records to make it look as if he had purchased directly from Antle and that Antle had delivered the tigers.

THE TRUTH: May 10, 2009 Tabruae admitted to falsifying records to make it look as if he had purchased directly from Antle and that Antle had delivered the tigers TO ZOOLOGICAL IMPORTS ONLY! NO WRONG DOING WAS PLACED ON ANTLE & NO CHARGES WHERE FILED. THE IMPROPER DEAL WAS ONLY BETWEEN TABRUAE AND THUNDERHAWK.
Ray Thunderhawk was only supposed to deliver the two tigers to Zoological Imports. The signed documents assigning the cats to Ray Thunderhawk from Bhagavan Antle were simply standard procedure documents allowing the release and transportation of the two tigers.

THE LIE: December 1994 Antle was fined $1000 for transporting a bull and cow without proper health tests and papers. He was also cited for night boxes that were too small for zebras, wolf hybrids and tigers.


THE LIE: July 6, 1994 US Department of Agriculture investigation for failing to supply proper travel papers in Kodak, TN in Sevier County. Antle was also associated with a second investigation into the legality of whether interstate transportation and exchange of baby tiger cubs. Antle was also under investigation because one of his tigers bit a man who was either a trainer or a visitor to Antle's Buckingham Zoological Park in Virginia.

THE TRUTH: July 6, 1994 This investigation proved to be nothing. THE MAN WHO WAS BIT WAS A TRAINER WHO WAS VISTING Antle's Buckingham Zoological Park in Virginia. NO CHARGES WERE FILED.

Dec 1993 transporting a bull and cow without proper health tests/papers in Kodak, TN in Sevier County

May 1992 Sharp wire was at the top of the zebra fence.

THE LIE: Nov 1991 An electric cord from a space heater dangled within reach of an elephant.


THE LIE: Oct 11, 1991 charged with hitting his tigers in Carver, MA in Plymouth County. Antle and his handlers were seen hitting wild cats at a fair according to the Animal Rescue League of Boston. Antle stated he hit the tigers when they became too aggressive.

THE TRUTH: Oct 11, 1991 The "hits" are not hard and definitely not hard enough to hurt a tiger. It is more like a spanking to them.

THE LIE: Another investigation found that Antle allowed people to have their pictures taken with the animals, failed to list a cougar among the animals he brought to the state and had overstayed his permit according to Tom French, assistant director of the Massachusetts Division of Wildlife. Antle at that point was asked to leave Carver, MA within 24 hours.

THE TRUTH: Keep in mind that at that time there were no rules governing photo shoots with big cats, so there were no illegal actions here. He was asked to leave Carver, MA unless he could get his permits updated within 24 hours. ANTLE HAS BEEN INVITED BACK TO MA FOR 29 YEARS EACH FALL AND WILL RETURN IN 2012 WITH HIS SHOW THE TALE OF THE TIGER.

THE LIE: Antle returned to Massachusetts without the knowledge of wildlife officials under the guise of other company names. That has led the Massachusetts wildlife department to declare that it would not issue any more permits to Antle.

THE TRUTH: The entire statement above is just a lie.

THE LIE: Oct 9, 1991 lion named Arthur bit a model during a photo shoot requiring 50 stitches in Manchester, NH in Hillsborough County. Antle allowed a Konica lion named Arthur to pose for pictures with a Bedford, NH model. Shannon Audley, 23, of Bedford, NH was injured when the 6-year-old lion opened its mouth and clamped down on one side of her head. Audley's head was cut, and she was admitted to Catholic Medical Center where she needed more than 50 stitches to close the wounds to her head and was hospitalized for about 5 days. Audley also had to undergo a series of rabies shots because Antle left the state with the lion and it couldn't be determined if the lion had received a rabies vaccination.


THE LIE: Sept 1991 The pit of a young zebra was called inadequate and exposed nails were found in animal enclosures in at least 2 inspections.

THE TRUTH: Sept 1991 All discrepencies were fixed immediately.

THE LIE: Aug 21, 1991 Antle was assessed a $3500 penalty to avoid litigation over 7 alleged violations, including animal enclosures that were unclean and structurally unsound and supplying incomplete travel and identification records. He did not have to admit innocence or guilt as a result of the order.
Kodak, TN in Sevier County - As of July 14, 1994 the penalty has not been paid.

THE TRUTH: Aug 21, 1991 The "alleged" violations were dropped and no fee are due.

July 1991 Antle was cited for unclean and unsound animal enclosures, incomplete travel and ID records. Monkeys were kept too close to coyotes and a baboon across from a jaguar. An exhibit site for an elephant had no way of preventing the animal from entering a highway if it got away from the trainer. Kodak, TN in Sevier County

THE LIE: 1991 Antle came home from his tiger roadshow to an outstanding misdemeanor warrant issued by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. It charges him of letting a tiger come in Sevierville. It was served on him and carries a $50 fine if he's convicted.

THE TRUTH: 1991 Antle was not convicted.

911 Animal Abuse seems to go on and on about citations and violations that are not only old and outdated, but that have also been cleared. 911 Animal Abuse not only goes after Doc Antle with this type of nonsense, but they attack anyone who does not agree with their far-left ideas about animals and conservation.
They also like to stretch the truth, leave out the truth, or just flat out make lies and assumptions without any proof. 911 Animal Abuse needs to be stopped.


"Doc" Antle

August 29, 2010 Miami, FL: Visitors to Miami's Jungle Island stampeded over each other to avoid an escaped, 3 yr old, 500 lb. tiger named Mahesh. OK, so there was no stampede, but it sure sounded good. A monkey escaped while being transported through the zoo and 500 lb. Mahesh bounded over the 14-foot fence into the public area according to the Miami Herald. Officials were amazed this cat could make it over the 14' high fence. Officials never did figure out how the cat made it that high.The attraction's three big cats — which include a liger and a white tiger — have been confined to a "night kennel", while the park investigates. "We were really scared. There were people crying", Miami mom Dorothy Evans told the Herald, adding that people knocked each other down as they sprinted toward the shelter. "People were running for their lives," Larry Rhodes, 46, of Pompano Beach, told the Sun Sentinel. Miami Fire Rescue Lt. Ignatius Carroll told the Herald that several people were injured while running, including a mother who fell on top of her 15-month old baby. Another guest was taken to a Miami hospital after suffering a panic attack. Bhagavan (Kevin) Antle, who also owns T.I.G.E.R.S. in Myrtle Beach, SC and who is the owner of Mahesh, was charged with one count of maintaining captive wildlife in an unsafe condition, resulting in threats to public safety. Since there was an escape, someone has to be charged, even though it was a freak incident. The compound is built far above government standards and is as secure as any. Park owner Bern M. Levine was charged with two second-degree misdemeanors for conditions resulting in the animals' escape. The charges for both men have a maximum penalty of $500, FWC officer Pino said.Video

Page 35 of Alan Green's book Animal Underworld: "An animal handler who has claimed to also own an Exxon tiger is Bhagavan Kevin Antle, who was an assistant to Jack Hanna during his appearances on Good Morning America and Late Night With David Letterman. Known alternatively as Kevin Bhagavan, Kevin Antle, Mahamayavi Bhagavan Antle, Bhagavan Antle, and Dr. Kevin Antle (he earned a doctor of natural sciences degree from the Chinese Science Foundation), Antle also claimed to own the MGM lion, even though Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. sent him a cease-and-desist letter, (The cease-and-desist letter was ONLY for Doc Antle to stop using the words MGM. It was actually Doc Antle's lion that was used. There is no dispute there.) and he implied in his literature an affiliation with Greenpeace, until he was told to cease and desist. Antle is a self-described big-cat conservationist who presides over The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (TIGERS), which operates a mobile petting zoo (There is no mobile petting zoo and never has been), leases tigers for TV commercials (only with his and his trainers present), and charges people at shopping malls and festivals to have their pictures taken with an animal (He does not take his animals to shopping malls or festivals). Antle hauls around a crossbred lion and tiger to such places as casinos in Biloxi, Mississippi (The "crossbred" is called a Liger and it does not get "hauled around"). He is also known for owning a lion that, in 1991, had to be pulled off a terrified model during a photo shoot in Manchester, New Hampshire. That same year, the federal government charged Antle with repeated violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including substandard housing for big cats, and to settle the charges he agreed to pay a $3,5000 fine. He was also cited in Massachusetts that year for illegally displaying his cats (only because his permit ran out before the shows were done. He could not renew the permit in time to complete his show.), and he was threatened with arrest and confiscation of the animals if he didn't immediately leave the state. What's more, Antle was the target of an unsuccessful 1991 Tennessee lawsuit regarding his alleged beating of a Bengal tiger with a wooden shaft."

In an article he wrote for the Phoenix Exotic Wildlife Association in 2005 Antle claimed to be a medical doctor saying, "I still think this is your right to have your own tiger and to be killed by your own tiger. Just keep it in a cage forever and don't let anyone else near you or watch you have it happen. I know this rambled on a bit but I was trying to make several points that are hard to explain. I often say that as an MD., I can talk you through [sic] taking out someone's kidney, but I can not talk you through tiger training. You have to live it to understand it. Dr. Bhagavan Antle"
The whole purpose of the statement is this: You are in the USA. You have the right to own a gun, or a big cat. If you get hurt or killed by your gun or big cat, that is up to you. It is your choice as an American!

Antle has trained more than 400 big cats, so where are they now? If his career began in the 1980's, and tigers live into their late teens and twenties, most of those cats should still be alive. No show-boating tiger trainer uses cats "trained" by someone else. Unfortunately there are no state or federally imposed census reports that are open to public inspection and not enough inspectors within those agencies to insure that cats are not being killed and entering the black market trade. It is known that the US is second only to China in its consumption of black market tiger parts but there is neither the funding, nor the will to prove where those cats originate.
What a bunch of messy statements. Let's correct this right now. Doc Antle has trained over 400 big cats. Where are they now? They are all over the world. He has trained them for many reasons including returning them to nature, for mating with other cats around the world, and for conservation. Not all of the cats were his. Next, how did the black market get into this paragraph? There is absolutely no proof of black market cats from the United States. It is a theory and nothing more.


Antle, 34 and his high-profile business are in the middle of an ongoing animal-rights debate. This will always be the case as long as there are extremist groups that want the government to control everything. Doc will always fight for the freedom to own big cats...responsibly!

Antle, whose full name is Mahamayavia Bhagavan Antle though he has gone by the name Kevin, is an animal trainer who supplies trained animals for advertising, commercials, film work and shows.

He opened the park on Bryan Road within site of Interstate 40 in late May. It is open to the public. It houses dozens of animals ranging from tigers to lions, to wolf hybrids, an elephant, primates and some deer. Antle said he also has some animals in Korea, where he has been working on a show involving trained animals for a resort.

Animal-rights advocates say he routinely doesn't follow federal animal welfare regulations. Of course, animal-right advocates will say whatever they need to say to try to prove a point.

Among the charges leveled by regulators and animal-right groups are that Antle doesn't provide proper shelter for the animals, doesn't give them enough access to water, gives incomplete records to federal and state officials and allows the public to come in contact with the dangerous animals.

Animal-rights activists said Antle cares little about the animals or the public. They believe Antle beats, mistreats and drugs the animals to make them act domesticated for commercials, television, movies and his shows.
Those who have been on set with doc Antle and his animals know differently. They have seen the connection that the animals have with him; a connection that can only come from a special relationsip.

"He's out there to make money and that's all he's out there for" said Sue Pressman, a West Virginia zoo consultant who helped write the Animal Welfare Act and who gave a critical inspection report of T.I.G.E.R.S in August 1991. "He needs to go to jail" stated Pressman.

"It's a lie the United States Department of Agriculture comes here all the time to inspect us," Antle said. "The USDA's sole purpose in life is sanitation."

But Sue Pressman, a consultant for P.A.W.S., the Performing Animal Welfare Society who toured T.I.G.E.R.S. on Aug. 3, said it was rife with violations of the Federal Animal Welfare Act.

"We went through and there were lots of problems," said Don Elroy, co-director of the Tennessee Network for Animals, which invited Pressman to the area. She is a former longtime director of Captive Wildlife for the Humane Society of the United States.

Among the problems Pressman said she found were a host of sanitary (violations, a dangerously low perimeter fence that might allow animals to escape, a fence enclosing tigers that is configured in a way that could allow the cats to climb out and an elephant chained without shade and water.

Elroy said there are also questions the group has about the registration of some of Antle's animals. He said a lot of the problems are already laid out in previous USDA inspection reports of the facility.

"We want to see some demonstration of compliance," Elroy said. "He's not trying to improve the facility." Elroy also questioned how the USDA could give Antle a license until he was in full compliance with all regulations.

Antle, however, countered that T.I.G.E.R.S. was licensed by the USDA in May and that USDA veterinarians were back inspecting the facility only a few days before Pressman was there.

He said that groups like P.A.W.S. are against him no matter what. "No matter what our facility looked like, the lady would have complained," Antle said. He also displayed the USDA exhibitor license for T.I.G.E.R.S. and copies of USDA inspection reports on May 21, 1991, and July 16, 1991.

"A few days before that lady was here, they (USDA) made an inspection, and nothing was said about sanitation," Antle said. "And these men were experts."

The USDA issues the permits for parks like T.I.G.E.R.S. "The USDA says we pass unequivocally," Antle said. "They said they want us to fix water bowls. They said our weeds were higher than they wanted."

The USDA inspection report on July 16, which Antle provided to a reporter, lists two pages of handwritten recommendations of corrections. Inspection reports dating back to 1988 for Antle-owned facilities – he also owned Buckingham Zoological Park in Buckingham, Va. – have similar lists.

Despite all of this Antle has never lost his license to exhibit animals.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel
The Union Leader
Knight Ridder
Tribune News Service


Just What Is The Point Mr Antle?

There has never been a greater need than now for cooperation between zoos around the world. Not only with conservation breeding programmes and exchange of information and knowledge but in weeding out those who are working on the principles of 'ignorance is bliss' and 'let me see how much I can get away with'. Not only are animals suffering but the wrong educational messages are being promoted. The biggest problem here is that the press so often fails to check their facts and ordinary lies become compound lies.

It is not just in Asia with places like Phuket Zoo and the Million Years Stone Parkbut in the West as well. It is almost beyond belief that Myrtle Beach Safari Park should or could have contributed anything at all towards conservation legislation. Whether it was good, bad or indifferent is neither here nor there because there is ample proof that this should never have happened.

I have questions for Mr Kevin Antle

Your ‘Rare Species Fund' website states:

"T.I.G.E.R.S. donated and personally transported seven Tigers from our Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Preserve to the Samutprakarn Wildlife Preserve, south of Bangkok. This unique group contained the four remaining color variations of the tiger making it the first of its kind in Asia. These magnificent animal ambassadors are working to create public awareness of the plight of the several thousand remaining tigers in South East Asia. A healthy and thriving litter of cubs just heralded the first success of this groundbreaking programme."

‘Personal transportation' indicates that you must have visited this place. This being the case you will be aware that only you are calling it a ‘Preserve'. Nobody else is. The ‘Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo' (read my report) is just that. It is probably the worlds biggest crocodile farm, with a zoo attached and not an especially good one. You cannot have missed the 40 or so displays housing freak crocodiles, of the pigs, dogs and tigers mixed together.

What was the point in donating ‘color variations' of tigers? How does that help conservation? What subspecies of tigers were they? How many close family pairings took place to achieve the ‘color variations'? How are these animals going to contribute to any conservation breeding project? They aren't and you know it…or you should know it.

It is not as if Thailand has a lack of tigers. They are all over the place. Places like the Sri Racha Tiger Zoo probably breed more tigers than any collection outside of China. No recent indication as to where the young are going. The Tiger Temple is another place…and there are others. Your ‘donation' of Tigers has contributed to a problem, especially as they have bred, and not reduced it.

As to "several thousand remaining tigers in South East Asia" this is truly reassuring news of which I hope you will be informing the relevant scientic bodies.

I can truly see a role for ‘Animal Ambassadors' but these are not.

They Are Not Meant To Look Like This

Photo by:

I would dearly like to know how ‘Snow Tigers', Ligers, White Tigers, White Lions, hand rearing of Orangutans and Chimpanzees has anything to do with conservation? I would like to know what contribution swimming with or bubble bathing Orangutans does? Just what is the point of the Worlds Biggest Cat? Taking Orangutans underwater with baby Tapirs is for what? For why?

I donate money to wildlife charities and other good causes. Not as often as I would like and when I do, I do it anonymously. I only mention this here because I too could very easily claim that I too was supporting Cheetah Conservation, Protection of Orangutan and Tiger Habitat and more. Your ‘Rare Species Fund' claims to be supporting projects here there and everywhere. To be frank your claim that you "actively supports the African Association of Zoos and Aquaria (PAAZAB) in it's efforts to improve African zoo collection management, captive animal husbandry, and public educational messages." I find this quite worrying especially as you are giving out the wrong messages.

I have long been impressed with your publicity machine and would dearly like to see you and your outfit change, to ditch the circus show and start to make a genuine contribution to conservation. Presently you are causing harm.

Colour As Nature Intended

Photo by:


Breaking All the Rules

This video of people swimming with tigers at T.I.G.E.R.S. aired November 12, 2008 on Inside Edition.  Millions of people saw Kevin Antle flagrantly disregarding USDA's big cat policies and many of them complained, but USDA has done nothing about it. Quote:  "The handling regulations prohibit the exhibition of such animals without sufficient distance and/or barriers between the animals and the viewing public to assure the safety of the public and the animals. Trained handlers, leashes, and stages, for example, are not substitutes for sufficient distance and/or barriers."

Complaints can be sent to:
920 Main Campus Drive Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27606-5210
Phone: (919) 855-7100
Fax: (919) 855-7123

USDA Exhibitor's License 56-C-0116
Bhagavan Antle, T.I.G.E.R.S.
1818 Hwy 17 N #316
Surfside Beach, SC 29575

Criminal Record?

Kevin L. Antle, DOB 9/22/58 3304 Mohawk Lane, St. Joseph, MO 64506 plead guilty to trespassing in case number 06BU-CR01605-01 on 08/17/2006.

Kevin Ray Antle DOB 5/6/79 Drunk Driving in case number CR200-1389F(M) in Mo. and another infraction in CA on 5/22/2000 in case number BAM010138

Do you know Kevin Antle's date of birth and the name on his driver's license?

Bashing People Who Want More Protective Rules

When Carole Baskin and Big Cat Rescue became known for trying to stop the trade in exotic cats as pets, Bhagavan Antle, who is often called Doc Antle a breeder of ligers, lions and tigers, began bashing her and Big Cat Rescue.  There is no justification for inbreeding tigers to create the white coats and no excuse for cross breeding lions and tigers just because ignorant people will be to see a freak.  Ligers and white tigers suffer painful birth defects that often kill them as youngsters, but for those in the business of having plenty of babies on hand, that is better for the exploiters.


Breeding Freaks for Profit

He claims his are all accidents and yet calls himself a professional.  Does he not know what causes a cub to be born?

A liger is the result of breeding a male lion to a tigress.  A tigon is the result of breeding a male tiger to a lioness.  Since lions and tigers do not exist in the same areas, this is not something that happens in the wild.  It is done in captivity by disreputable carnies to produce a freak that ignorant people will pay to see.  These cats suffer from many birth defects and usually die young.  Because ligers are usually larger than either parent, it also puts the tigress at great risk in carrying the young and may require C-section deliveries or kill her in the process.  When the public quits paying to see these unfortunate creatures, the evil people responsible for breeding them will stop this inhumane practice.

Watch a video that was created by a teenage supporter of Big Cat Rescue who already understands, better than most adults, what the truth is behind the breeding and showcasing of ligers.

You can stop the abuse.  Don't support places, like T.I.G.E.R.S. and Jungle Island, that breed ligers.  Bhagavan Antle who calls himself Doc Antle, the person you will most often see promoting this shameful practice, has gone to great lengths to stop us and the brave young girl who created the video above, from letting you know the truth.  Visit her YouTube site HERE and let her know you appreciate what she is doing to prevent the future breeding of ligers and tigons.

When you see ligers in the news or on TV, write the station and let the reporters know the truth about hybrids.  You can send 5 letters at once to the media of your choice through an online email system


The following story attempts to make it sound like there could be some reason to breed lions and tigers for public amusement, but anyone who cares about animals knows that this is a despicable thing to do because the cats have to spend their lives in deprivation and confinement and are genetically so unhealthy that they usually die young. The ONLY reason anyone breeds ligers is to create a freak that simple minded people will pay to see.

Ligers Make a "Dynamite" Leap Into the Limelight

by: Maryann Mott August 5, 2005

It's half lion, half tiger, and completely real. Now thanks to a cameo in the 2004 cult movie Napoleon Dynamite, the liger has leaped into the limelight, prompting fans to ask, What are they really like?

The faintly striped, shaggy-maned creatures are the offspring of male lions and female tigers, which gives them the ability to both roar like lions and chuff like tigers-a supposedly affectionate sound that falls somewhere between a purr and a raspberry.

Weighing in at about a thousand pounds (450 kilograms) each, they typically devour 50 pounds (23 kilograms) of raw meat in a meal.

"For the most part they're really laid back," said Jason Hutcherson, vice president of Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain , Georgia . "They like to swim and play in the water."

The drive-through wildlife park is believed to have the country's largest concentration of ligers, housing ten of the massive cats.

Since 1999 the park has bred its male lion and female tiger many times, producing about 24 cubs.

Not all of them have been healthy, though.

"We've had 3 out of 24 that, for all practical purposes, were normal but developed as they grew older some kind of neurological disorder," Hutcherson said.

Autopsies didn't reveal what caused the cubs to develop "head shakes," so park staff "chalked it up to a genetic defect," Hutcherson said.

Accredited zoos frown on the practice of mixing two different species and have never bred ligers, says Jane Ballentine, a spokesperson for the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, based in Silver Spring , Maryland.

"Keeping the two species separate has always been standard procedure," she said.

Wild Ligers?

Long before fans heard Napoleon claim that the liger is "pretty much my favorite animal," there have been rumors of the hybrid's existence in the wild.

Lion-tiger mating occurs in captivity. But it does not happen in the wild, probably for the same reason humans do not breed with gorillas or chimps.

"Crossing the species line" does not generally occur in the wild, because "it would result in diminished fitness of the offspring," said Ronald Tilson, director of conservation at the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley.

Geography is another obstacle to natural lion-tiger mating. Wild tigers mainly inhabit Asia, whereas the lion's current natural habitat is almost entirely in Africa .

The Gir National Forest in India is the only place in the world where tiger and lion ranges overlap, fueling speculation that wild ligers roamed the area hundreds of years ago.

Tilson doesn't believe it.

"This would be highly improbable, because the Gir forest is really very dry and not optimal tiger habitat," he said.

A Liger Named Patrick

Perched on the edge of the Mojave Desert near Los Angeles , California , a lone liger, named Patrick, lives at Shambala Preserve, which bills itself as "a haven for endangered exotic big cats."

"The interesting thing about these animals is that they have the best qualities of the tiger and the best of the lion," said movie actress and conservationist Tippi Hedren, who has run Shambala since 1972. "Those qualities manifest themselves in the fact that they like to be in the water [a tiger trait] and are very social [a lion trait]."

Many of the cats at the 80-acre (32-hectare) sanctuary are orphans or castoffs from circuses, zoos, and private owners who could no longer care for the animals.

ShambalaPatrick arrived at the sanctuary seven years ago after federal authorities shutdown the roadside zoo in Illinois where he lived.

The 800-pound (360-kilogram) liger was kept in such a small cage that his hind-leg muscles had started to atrophy, said Hedren, who starred in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds.

Patrick's compound at Shambala allows him plenty of room for exercise. A stream runs through his compound, so his tiger half can play in the water or his lion half can stay out of it, whichever he chooses.

Liger in the Hills

Spirit of the Hills Wildlife Sanctuary in Spearfish, South Dakota , recently acquired a liger named Samson and 48 other big cats after federal authorities closed a Minnesota wildlife facility.

"Everyone who comes wants to see Samson," said Trevor Smith, an environmental biologist and sanctuary board member.

The four-and-a-half-year-old hybrid tips the scales at over a thousand pounds (over 450 kilograms), and eats 30 to 50 pounds (14 to 23 kilograms) of raw meat every other day.

"Samson is really picky. He'll only eat beef, elk, and venison," Smith said. "We try and feed him chicken, like the other animals, but he won't touch it. He'll let it rot in the sun."

The sanctuary-whose mission is to educate people about wild animals and emphasize that they don't make good pets-has seen a surge in visitors since Samson's arrival in June.

Much of the public's curiosity about the liger stems from Napoleon Dynamite, Smith said.

Smith worries that Samson is "becoming too much of a freak show."

If Samson had his way, Smith said, he'd sleep away the day inside, away from public view.

"We've had a huge ethical debate at the sanctuary on whether or not we should lock him out of his shed," Smith said. "But at the same time, he's why the visitors are coming."

Tigons and Ti-tigons

A tigon is the product of a male tiger and female lion. They receive growth inhibitor genes from both parents and so are smaller than either of them. They show much the same coloration of ligers except they sometimes have more distinct stripes. As with ligers the females are fertile whereas the males are sterile. They have the same vocalizations as liger, a sort of cross between lion and tiger. Ti-tigons speak tiger. Tigons are now rarer than ligers, but in the late 1800′s/early 1900′s tigons were more common.

As long as stupid people will pay to see these unfortunate animals, there will be people like Antle who will breed and use these cats for their own gain.

Subject: YouTube DMCA Counter-Notification

Counter Notification of claim filed by Kevin Antle, alias Dr. Bhagavan Antle, of a tiger breeding facility called T.I.G.E.R.S., the acronym for The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species

YouTube, LLC
Attn: YouTube DMCA Counter-Notification
901 Cherry Ave.
Second Floor
San Bruno, CA 94066
Fax: 650.872.8513

Attn: YouTube DMCA Counter-Notification

The following counter claim includes your instructions to ensure that we have met with every requirement.

1. Identify the specific URLs of material that YouTube has removed or to which YouTube has disabled access.

Since you rejected the videos I do not have the URL that you had assigned to them, but the Raw Files were: added Feb. 14, 2009 and USDA Fails Animals and added Jan. 9, 2009 and I have not deleted them so that you can see them as they originally appeared on my site before you disabled them as Rejected.  This counter notice has been revised to include this URL that appears to be the one for the longer version: The shorter version did not have any material that was not part of the longer one.

2. Provide your full name, address, telephone number, and email address, and the username of your YouTube account.

I am Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue and the YouTube account is BigCatRescue. My email address is and our site administrator's email that is used on the YouTube account is Our business address is 12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625 813.920.4130 and our home website is

3. Provide a statement that you consent to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which your address is located (or San Francisco County, California if your address is outside of the United States), and that you will accept service of process from the person who provided notification under subsection (c)(1)(C) or an agent of such person.

I consent to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court for the judicial district of Florida where our business is located and will receive service of process from the Complaining Party or an agent of such party at 12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625 813.920.4130.

4. Include the following statement: "I swear, under penalty of perjury, that I have a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of a mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled."

I swear, under penalty of perjury, that I have a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of a mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled because the complainant knows he is not the copy right holder of any of these images. The complaint you received from the person who calls himself, Dr. Bhagavan Antle, is the alias of Kevin Antle who is neither a doctor, Ph.D., nor some exotic sounding Bhagavan. He files such false claims of copy right so that the public is not alerted to his true name, nature and activities regarding the use of tigers. He has never filed a lawsuit, because he has no grounds to do so. All he can do is hope to get help from businesses like YouTube, in causing us harm by deleting content and accounts, by filing these false statements.

Being in the photos, or images that are filmed of his activities at T.I.G.E.R.S. and in the malls and parking lots he provides tigers to across the country does not make him the copy right holder of any of the images. He is not in any of the photos in these two videos that discuss how USDA does so little to regulate his industry. I have asked him to provide such proof of copy right, and he cannot do so. He did not provide it to you either. That is because he is not the copy right holder.

Kevin Antle has filed similar false claims with, and others and in every case has not responded to the counter claims that we have filed because there is no merit in his claims. We have prevailed in every case and are preparing a lawsuit against him as a result of this last attack on us via YouTube. There are better ways to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars when so many big cats are being used, abused and discarded by an industry that uses them as photo props while they are cubs and then has no legitimate use for them. For that reason we have tried to ignore him, but find we now may have no other choice.

If I were to learn that I was posting, or allowing the posting of copy right protected material, it would be removed immediately. I would rely upon the notification of the true copy right holder, however, and not upon that of someone that I believe to be abusing animals who has been known to use any means possible to keep us from exposing him.

I ask that you remove the two flags from my BigCatRescue account, reinstate the videos, and note on our account that we are subject to such false claims based entirely on our efforts to end the abuse of big cats and not because of any impropriety on our account. Please contact us before taking action on false claims filed by Kevin Antle and his kind and you will see that there is no merit to their claims of copyright infringement. Thank you for your time in the matter.

5. Sign the notice. If you are providing notice by e-mail, a scanned physical signature or a valid electronic signature will be accepted.

For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457