Yesterday, R&B singer Chris Brown posted a video on Instagram of his daughter Royalty Brown, 7, at Myrtle Beach Safari posing with tiger cubs and swimming in a pool with them.
Video also shows the young girl hugging a large hyena, bottle feeding a tiger cub and holding and posing for photos with a chimpanzee, a lemur and a gibbon.
Myrtle Beach Safari was made famous in the Netflix documentary Tiger King. The owner of Myrtle Beach Safari, Kevin ‘Doc’ Antle, was indicted in October with nine charges of cruelty to animals, six counts of selling endangered species and two wildlife trafficking charges.
Antle’s facility is well-known for mass breeding tigers, lions and hybrid big cats to use in pay-to-play encounters. When the animals become too big for cub petting interactions they’re quickly offloaded to other roadside zoos. Some of the tigers that have aged out of cub petting are reportedly euthanized.
Chris has also had run-ins with the law over exploiting animals. In 2017, Brown purchased a capuchin monkey and posted video of Royal, then 3, playing with the exotic pet. The L.A. City Attorney charged Brown with two counts of having a restricted species without a permit.
In 2019, Brown entered into a diversion program with the district attorney. As part of the agreement, he paid $35,000 to the sanctuary that took over the care of the capuchin and he was prohibited from owning monkeys for six months.
The exotic animals exploited by roadside zoos for petting interactions become extremely stressed out and sometimes lash out at the public, which can cause serious injury.
Royalty is only 7 and is likely not aware of the risks of interacting with dangerous predators. Her mother's choice to take her to a roadside zoo for photographs could have resulted in disastrous consequences.
The Big Cat Public Safety Act, which was reintroduced in the U.S. Senate in 2021, would prohibit public interactions and photo ops with cubs.