The truth about Dr.Bhagavan "Doc" Antle

AKA "Doc" Antle (but he's no intellectual)
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, Ghagavan Antle, and Dr. Kevin Antle (he supposedly 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, 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, leases tigers for TV commercials, and charges people at shopping malls and festivals to have their pictures taken with an animal. Antle hauls around a crossbred lion and tiger to such places as casinos in Biloxi, Mississippi. 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, 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."
Alan Green wrote a book but he’s not a reporter.  He is an unethical muckraker with an axe to grind.  He uses half truths, misinformation and outright, blatant lies to support and promote his personal agenda. Alan Green is a disgruntled former volunteer at the national zoo in Washington D.C.  His book, Animal Underground published by Public Affairs Books in 1999, is a slanderous, poorly researched attack on the people organizations and regulatory agencies of the Zoological profession Much of the information is more than 20 years old and as untruthful now as it was then.
Alan Green uses emotionally loaded words, inflammatory language and un-attributed misinformation in his vendetta against people and organizations that work with exotic, rare and endangered species.
In her article, ‘How Not To Write An Exposé’, Norma Bennett Woolf sites two examples of Green’s use of distorted facts and outright lies, in his book Animal Underworld.
Here is another instance of this pseudo-reporter distorting facts to make his case.
This is sloppy reporting, filled with errors that quickly become obvious when the readily available facts are verified rather than distorted to support a destructive personal agenda.
“Green was given all this correct information in telephone interviews with me, Dr. Antle, almost 20 years ago, long before his  book was published. But Alan Green had an agenda to promote. Unfortunately, the real facts and the truth had nothing to do with that."
GREEN starts with : "An animal handler who has claimed to also own an Exxon tiger is Bhagavan Kevin Antle
 Doc had a patient who was a local zoo owner. In 1982 a litter of tiger cubs was born at the zoo. Doc asked a favor of his friend and patient. He arranged to borrow one of the tiger cubs for an upcoming health lecture he was presenting at the EXXON oil convention. The talk addressed the important effects of local actions on health and international environments and the tiger cub Doc thought was a natural ambassador to make this point. 
 Doc’s presentation was well received. The tiger cub, the very first Animal Ambassador, made a favorable impression on the EXXON officials. They asked Doc if he could provide and train tigers for use in company promotions.
 Dr. Antle began presenting and training big cats for EXXON promotions and publicity photos in 1982. By 1983 tigers trained by Doc Antle were being seen in EXXON television commercials and on prints at EXXON stations around the world for the "Put a tiger in your tank" promotions that EXXON sponsored for decades. These animal actors, along with their trainer, made hundreds of appearances on film, in photos and at live events for EXXON Oil Corporation and its many franchises for over 6 years. 
GREEN continues : Antle -who was an assistant to Jack Hanna during his appearances on Good Morning America and Late Night With David Letterman
Jack and Doc have been friend for decades ,,,,,,,,Green hates Jack  and all wildlife educators and many of the worlds top zoos. Jack is great guy more proof of Greens ideas Twenty years ago, Doc worked for just one day with Jack Hanna, in New York City. It was the only time they ever worked together. As a favor to Jack, Doc provided animals for a segment of GOOD MORNING AMERICA. That same day Doc and Shadow, a black leopard trained by Doc were featured guests on LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN.
GREEN continues : Bhagavan Kevin Antle, Known alternatively as Kevin Bhagavan, Kevin Antle, Mahamayavi Bhagavan Antle, Ghagavan Antle, and Dr. Kevin Antle (he supposedly earned a doctor of natural sciences degree from the Chinese Science Foundation),
Doctor Mahamayavi Bhagavan Antle, who as a child was called ‘Kevin’, is not known alternatively as anything other than “Doc”.
"Because of the uniqueness of my name it is frequently mispronounced, sometimes in humorous ways. Many people think I call myself Vagabond and Matt Lauer on the NBC TODAY SHOW did the best job calling me Abogaman Antillee. Mahamayavi Bhagavan Antle is the name on my birth certificate and United States Passport. I studied for and received my Doctoral degree in medicine in China. I returned from medical school in china to the United States in the early 80's, locating in Buckingham, Virginia, where I co-created and ran Virginia Integral Health Services, an alternative drugless therapy clinic offering and utilizing herbal treatments, acupuncture natural childbirth, meditation, diet and exercise programs.
GREEN continues : Antle also claimed to own the MGM lion, even though Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. sent him a cease-and-desist letter
Arthur,was a 5-year-old African lion trained by Doc Antle - the only lion at that time who would calmly and consistently roar on cue, was hired by MGM – Metro Goldwyn Mayer – to appear in a new, up to date version of their world famous roaring lion logo. John Landis, the Academy Award winning film director of AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, BLUES BROTHERS, NATIONAL LAMPOON”S ANIMAL HOUSE and THREE AMIGOS was brought in to meet Arthur and direct the shoot.
As the cameras rolled and the shutters clicked, Arthur snarled then roared on cue. Doc sat beside him tickling his elbow. Arthur and Doc were playing a game they had played together for thousands of hours since Arthur was a cub. In the footage he appears to be a ferocious, awe-inspiring lion. The King of Beasts!
The image of Arthur this unique animal actor trained by Doc Antle was used for many years as the living lion logo for MGM films and television programs.
 MGM flew Arthur and Doc to New York City to appear at the prestigious FAO Schwartz Toy Company where he presided over the launch ceremonies for a new line of clothing featuring the MGM lion logo. Guests from all over the world were given the once in a lifetime opportunity to pose for a photo with the huge lion, as they sat within the golden laurels of the MGM logo.
 Doc Antle and Arthur were in demand again when MGM teamed up with Disney to compete against Universal Studios, and open a theme park attraction in Orlando, Florida. Arthur appeared as the MGM lion in a new logo along with another famous Animal Actor, Mickey Mouse. Arthur attended many VIP events and functions as the MGM lion representative at the Disney/MGM Studios park.
You can watch a video of Doc and Arthur working on the MGM training on YouTube
A letter from Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s legal department requested that Doctor Antle refer to Arthur as “the lion used by MGM”, rather than “The MGM Lion”, as that phrase was copyrighted and associated with an integral part of the MGM corporate logo.
Alan Green ignores verifiable facts in his slanderous attacks on people and organizations that work with rare and endangered species.
In Alan Greens book he says he has compiled thousands of pages of paperwork that he claims is evidence of easily falsified health certificates and permits.
Green consistently fails to produce any specific examples to support any of his distorted misinformation. He continues his assault on Doc Antle and T.I.G.E.R.S. in the following paragraph on page 35 of his book.
GREEN continues : “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, leases tigers for TV commercials, and charges people at shopping malls and festivals to have their pictures taken with an animal.  
Doc Antle established T.I.G.E.R.S. as a wildlife education organization, dedicated to promoting global conservation with informative, educational, and entertaining interactive programs.
The Rare Species Fund (RSF) was established to provide funding to critical, on the ground international wildlife conservation programs, thereby complimenting the educational messages and field research of T.I.G.E.R.S.
This organization T.I.G.E.R.S. &RSF are on the The ICCF’s Conservation Council, The International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF) is the largest umbrella conservation org. in the world. whose members are dozens of congressmen, senators members of world parliaments as well as the WWF world Wildlife Fund and Conservation International and most the other TOP wildlife conservation partners. 
The ICCF’s Conservation Council is the strongest association of public and private sector representatives dedicated to international conservation. Council members represent NGOs, corporations, and government entities, and possess very diverse experience and skill sets. Some offer the latest science; others share practical knowledge of how to build community-based conservation projects through public-private partnerships. These corporations and NGOs share a common mission to implement conservation projects safeguarding wildlife and biodiversity, protecting and restoring habitat, and generating economic opportunities and social benefits for surrounding communities who are necessarily the long-term stewards of local natural resources.
Doctor Antle has twice addressed the United States Congress as an internationally recognized conservationist under the auspices of the ICCF.  The USFW U.S. Fish and  Wildlife Service has continually issued highly sensitive permits to T.I.G.E.R.S. for many rare species that they are the only private recipient of in all of the USA.  Disney, Universal, many fortune 500, all believe in T.I.G.E.R.S. conservation work and have engaged them to have their animal ambassadors available world wide.
Doc and the animal ambassadors of TIGERS have been involved in the production of over 500 films, television shows, and advertising of all kinds for twenty eight years. Including Ace Ventura ,Jungle Book, Dr. Dolittle and Mighty Joe Young with this type of work they have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars that directly support the Rare Species Fund (RSF). We haved donated over $100,000 to cheetah conservation in Namibia and South Africa in the last 2 years. 
Stunningly beautiful animals doing interesting things, capture peoples attention and get millions of peoples attention in the world press and ten of millions on TV, and I know that they then become more willing to learn about critical conservation issues that are in all our programs like REAL issues- Reduce Reuse and use Renewable Resources, without that FIRST, the wildlife cannot survive. 
Beautiful, cute, or dramatic images of exotic animals doing anything catches ones eye. Unique and unusual images are THE calling cards that can spark interest in the natural world and only that interest will save IT! 
The few SUPER STAR exotic animals are often the only ones that catch the  public eye; Great Apes, Big cats, Elephants are important living examples and reminders of the environmental problems facing the world, which makes them the perfect wildlife ambassadors.  The public loves novelty more than normalcy and always will and the images we create DO THAT, the proof's in the $$$$.
We have been able to take many hundreds of thousand of dollars (more than many ZOOs or Sanctuaries combined) and put it directly into programs that run everything from anti poaching patrols to reforesting jungles. We have captured wild rogue leopards, sheep killing cheetah, and eagles, and sent them back into the wild unharmed. We know the use of the captive animals that work with us as animal ambassadors make this and so much more possible. For over 25 years we have been a real in the trench's conservation org. We have given millions of people our messages live each year and tens of millions follow us on TV. We know our efforts and funds have saved countless lives. Do not be fooled into thinking that conservation traditions that have so often failed are the right way. There is no one right way to do anything. Wildlife will only survive with a million Noah's and a million arks! 
 Our wonderful family of orangutans were all born at our home in Miami.  All of our big cats are born at our facilities, our elephants were Ivory orphans and have been with us from the time they where very young. Bubbles is imprinted on humans and has had many elephant friends, but always prefers the company of Doc and the preserves' caretakers. Our animals are very precious and amazing conservation partners with us. Only a few up close non-caged animals like this exist in all of North America.  We provide unparalleled care for them. I have over 40 years hands on experience living in contact with wildlife, it's always safe and has the best of care.  We understand this is not the way for most people to educate the public about wildlife, but it is hugely successful for US.  The proof is in the numbers of guest we educate and the money we generate for great projects all over the world.The fully accredited facilities that the animals live in are equal to any others in the world, they are large beautiful enclosures that can only be compared to the best zoos in they country. 
We have lots of naysayers with very little action, lots of people who are wishfully in competition with us who are just JEALOUS.  They pretend to be sanctuaries, but they are just poor quality zoos with collections of cats living in substandard caging.
 If you look for real info any place in the world against us you will be hard pressed to find any real info that Doc Antle or T.I.G.E.R.S has any trouble.  If you look you can find 1 paragraph of slander done by Alan Green and his book "Animal Underground" and it is a book based on unfounded and unsubstantiated accusations that is chopped up and reprinted all over the Internet.  
GREEN continues: Antle hauls around a crossbred lion and tiger to such places as casinos in Biloxi, Mississippi. ”
White tigers and ligers have become important animal ambassadors for fund raising in the RSF. see  or for much more info about them. See the for a full list of our wildlife projects.
Doc Antle has not done any kind of mobile photos in the past 16 years. The casino in Biloxi made a large donation for a few days appearance for a few hours a day in early 1992 for some of our animal ambassadors to do a simple legal and extremely popular appearance.
He has been actively involved in developing his concept of interactive conservation education with the Wild Encounters Tour of the TIGERS facility - the Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina.
Doc Antle’s unique, hands-on approach to learning about endangered animals provides a positive, life-changing experience for the people who participate.
Green’s slanderous and completely inaccurate tirade continues.
GREEN continues: “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.”
In 1991 the attorney for Shannon Audry  said was never harmed by the lion, she fell during a personal promotional photo that she personally had hired the lion for, the attorney for the “terrified model”, wrote a letter saying that he only defended her as a legal exercise and stated that "Dr. Bhagavan Antle nor the lion did anything to harm Ms Audry and in fact did a exemplarily job in keeping her safe". All attempts to find Doctor Antle or the lion guilty of any harm were dismissed. All the reports from the police and animal control signed by Shannon Audry state that at no time did the lion harm her in any way.
GREEN continues: “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 $3,500.00 fine."
Dr Antle was never fined $3,500.00.  The USDA did have a long standing disagreement with Doc about issues of food storage in his shop and water drainage in a dog pen and some other small house keeping issues from the mid 1980s. Doc believed he was in the right and did not want the time and expense to go to court but the single inspector from the USDA had a bone to pick and tried to take it to administrative USDA court. Now this is a highly expensive activity for an individual to undertake and to prevent the enormous court and attorney costs, Doc entered into a Nolo Contendre (No Contest) agreement with the USDA and agreed to pay the court a $3500 cease of litigation fee. This was not a fine.  The document clearly states that Doc is not guilty of any wrong doing but he neither admits or denies improper water drainage or food storage in a shop. 
The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) is the law in the United States that regulates the treatment of animals in research, exhibition, transport, and by dealers. A zoological park is an exhibitor and is required to follow the regulations in the AWA.
The law requires the exhibitors to provide their animals with adequate care and treatment in the areas of housing, handling, transportation, sanitation, nutrition, water, general husbandry, veterinary care, and protection from extreme weather and temperatures.
The animal welfare regulations for all animals from dogs, cats and guinea pigs to tigers and dolphins is put out in a manual of less than 200 pages. These rules are often extremely vague and open to interpretation by the USDA inspector.

An example of a regulation for non-human primates, a monkey, reads: "Housing facilities for nonhuman primates must be designed and constructed so that they are structurally sound for the species of nonhuman primates housed in them."
Depending on the species, this could mean anything from a large dog kennel to an expansive elaborate habitat and anything in between. There are no specifics. One could ask an inspector for a more definite blueprint, and while there may be a common theme following the regulations set forth in the AWA, you would get different examples from different inspectors.
Most often, the violations involve general housekeeping. These include chipped floors, rusting metal, standing water, inadequate shelter from the elements, improper food storage, and pest problems. The violations also include improper paperwork.
As an example, here is a recent animal welfare violation from the San Diego Zoo:  “Structure: construction. Housing facilities for nonhuman primates must be designed and constructed so that they are structurally sound for the species of nonhuman primates housed in them. They must be kept in good repair.  Door is almost impossible to open in the refrigerated Panda browse container box. Keeper has to use a metal bar to open door. Facility shall ensure that all structures are kept in good repair.”

This violation was issued because it was difficult to open a specialized feeding box for Pandas. There are no instructions regarding the actual construction of the feeding box in the AWA, only general guidelines. This is open to the interpretation of the inspector as to whether it is a violation or not.
A large facility like the San Diego Zoo might receive a few hundred of these kinds of violations a year.   A smaller facility like TIGERS may get a dozen.
It is quite simple to get a violation of the AWA. In the past 2 years, most zoos have had anywhere from a couple to more than 30 violations. Many of these violations are minor maintenance issues and can be fixed the same day (ie. sweep off the roof). Examples of AWA violators are: the San Diego Zoo, the Cincinnati Zoo, the Detroit Zoo, the Denver Zoo, Six Flags of New Jersey, Discovery Cove of Orlando, FL, and the Bronx Zoo. In the past couple of years, these facilities combined have a total of over 80 violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

An exhibitor being cited for a violation of the AWA is akin to an airline being cited by the FAA. As airplanes need constant maintenance and repair to keep the passengers safe, the FAA often cites airlines for violating the regulations on routine issues like tires and lavatories. These violations, by no means represent a failure to provide safe travel, but are to encourage preventative maintenance by the airline. Likewise, most violations of the AWA are also ones of preventative maintenance.
Green continues:
"He (Dr. Antle) was also cited in Massachusetts that year for illegally displaying his cats, and he was threatened with arrest and confiscation of the animals if he didn't immediately leave the state.  
 Doc Antle has been the Main attraction at King Richard’s Faire in Carver Massachusetts for the past 25 years. He has produced the highly acclaimed show the Tale Of The Tiger with over 10 big cats every year from 1983 and will do it again in 2010. He maintains an excellent working relationship with Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife Dept.
Doc has missed only one performance, one time in several decades, as a result of a technicality involving an incorrect date for the last week of the show on a permit in Massachusetts. He returned in good standing the following year and has continued to do so for more than 25 years without incident.
Green continues: 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."
Read that last sentence closely. It is misleading and inflammatory. No tiger was beaten. No lawsuit was carried through.
In reality a mentally unstable, disgruntled former volunteer made outlandish charges in retaliation for being let go due to inappropriate behavior.

These are just more examples of the sort of deceit and gross exaggeration in which Green regularly indulges and did so to  Dr. Bhagvan Antle in this slanderous book "Animal Underworld."


In an article he wrote for the Phoenix Exotic Wildlife Association in 2005 Antle admitted, "I still think this is your right to have your own tiger and to be killed by your own tiger. ....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 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"

Antle has trained more than 400 big cats, so where are they now? His career began in the 1980's, and tigers live into their late teens and twenties, most of those cats are still alive. No show-boating tiger trainer uses cats "trained" by someone else. There are federally imposed census reports and inspectors within those agencies to insure that cats are not being killed and entering the black market trade.

Creating All the Rules

Millions of people saw Bhagavan Antle's video of people swimming with tigers at T.I.G.E.R.S. aired November 12, 2008 on Inside Edition.  Due to the changes in regulations in USDA's big cat policies safety is of utmost importance to the T.I.G.E.R.S. staff. Quote:  "The handling regulations prohibit the exhibition of such animals (large cats) without sufficient distance and/or barriers between the animals(large cats, not cubs)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."

Comments 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

People Who Want More Protective Rules

When Carole Baskin and Big Cat Rescue became known for trying to stop the cruel and horrible living conditions of exotic cats as pets, Bhagavan Antle, who is often called Doc Antle a breeder of ligers, lions and tigers, agrees with many of her and Big Cat Rescue concerns.  There is no justification for any type of cruelly to animals.

See an interactive online map of exotic cat owners.  See irresponsible people being stupid with big cats, endangering themselves and others HERE.  See the awful conditions that many captive cats endure HERE.

Breeding for Proliferation

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 usually roam in the same packs, so this is not something that normally happens in the wild. But when lions and tigers grow up together and play in the same inclosures, it does happen. These cats are rare and amazing animals. Ligers are usually larger than either parent.

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

You can stop the abuse. Support places, like T.I.G.E.R.S. and Jungle Island, that breed tigers and lions for the education and survival of these wonder animal ambassadors. Bhagavan Antle who calls also himself Doc Antle, the person you will most often notice overseeing the preservation, has gone to great lengths to protect these animals from extinction. Visit Doc YouTube site HERE and let him know you appreciate what he is doing to prevent the future abuse of lions and tigers.

When you see ligers in the news or on TV, write the station and let the reporters know the truth about T.I.G.E.R.S. You can send 5 letters at once to the media of your choice.

The following story shows that some places 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 spend their lives in Preservation Station and are healthy they usually live long healthy lives. The ONLY reason Doc Bhagavan can train ligers is the incredible love and passion he and his staff have for Big Cats.

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.

Some zoos frown on the practice of mixing two different species because they do not have the experience 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? Of course.

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 the wild and captivity. It does not happen often in the wild, probably for the same reason gorillas do not breed with 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.

Patrick the LionPatrick 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.

"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 people will pay to see these exotic animals, there will be people who will breed and use these cats for their own gain. Caution must be exercised. There will also be people who disagree with any facility that breeds and raised lions and tigers. Bhagavan Antle has had to protect himself from illegal and wrongful claims. As follows:

Subject: YouTube DMCA Counter-Notification

Counter Notification of claim filed by Bhagavan Antle, of a tiger preservation 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

Specific URLs of material that YouTube has removed or to which YouTube has disabled access.

YouTube rejected videos that were uploaded to YouTube by Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue, who was attempting to display Doc Bhagavan Antle's cats in a manner that was not approved by him. Permission was not asked to use these videos, and Carole attempted to use the videos to make Doc Bhagavan Steve Antle look bad. Because of this, YouTube agreed to remove the videos and double flagged Carole Baskin's account. Carole Baskin has complained to YouTube stating that she does not need permission from the owner of the cats to show the videos.

Doc Bhagavan Antle takes it personally and takes it seriously when the animals he works so hard to preserve are used in a vicious manner.

Statement from Carole Baskin: "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".
"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."

Mistake? Is she stating she "accidentally" put the videos on YouTube thinking they were hers?

Kevin Antle has filed similar claims with, and others. 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, then to attempt to use others videos and pictures in a way that is harmful to the preservation of the cats.

Though Carole Baskin states, "If I were to learn that I was posting, or allowing the posting of copy right protected material, it would be removed immediately." she still claims using videos and pictures of animals that are not hers is ok to do.