Doc Antle of Myrtle Beach Safari has turned his roadside zoo over to his partner, China York, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture records.
Antle, 62, was featured in the 2020 Netflix series “Tiger King.” He was arrested in June for money laundering more than $500,000 and wildlife trafficking. Andrew Jon Sawyer, 52, is also accused of money laundering with Antle, proceeds that they believed came from smuggling immigrants across the border from Mexico.
Charles Sammut of Monterey Vision Quest in Salina, California, and Jason Clay of East Texas Zoo and Gator Park in Grand Saline, Texas, and Franklin Drive Thru Safari in Franklin, Texas, are accused of trafficking endangered animals with Antle.
On June 10, while Antle was incarcerated, his partner China York, who lives at the roadside zoo, created Sugriva Co. LLC, with the same address as Myrtle Beach Safari. York’s attorneys advised the USDA that Antle intended to sell Myrtle Beach Safari to York, who was working to obtain a license to exhibit the animals in her name.
According to a letter submitted by York's attorney, Antle will have no ownership or leadership role in operating Sugriva, he will not serve on a board or direct the activities of the organization and will have no interest in Sugriva’s USDA license.
Attorneys for the government argued the sale would encumber property subject to seizure and would transfer ownership and control of the animals at issue in the lawsuit. They asked a judge to modify Antle’s bond and not permit him to transfer any of the animals that are listed under the Endangered Species Act.
Antle accused the government of conspiring with the USDA, who he said refuses to complete a licensing inspection for Sugriva at his roadside zoo.
Federal Magistrate Terry Rogers ruled that Antle has to alert the court if he intends to sell any of his assets or transfer animals.
USDA records indicate Antle’s license to exhibit the animals to the public was active until Aug. 13, 2022.
On Sept. 21, the USDA completed a licensing inspection and approved a license for Sugriva, indicating York is now the licensed owner of the endangered and non-endangered animals at Myrtle Beach Safari. The license for Sugriva is valid through 10/20/2025.