The Untold Truth Of Doc Antle's Wives

Netflix's Tiger King may have focused on the wild drama surrounding zoo owner Joe Exotic (who is now in jail for a murder-for-hire plot among other offenses), however, there were plenty of other outrageous characters involved in the real-life story. Along with Exotic's husbands and his nemesis, Carole Baskin, the docu-series also introduced the world to Bhagavan "Doc" Antle, a fellow animal park owner who also happened to have a handful of spouses who were living and working in a rather unusual situation.

In addition to being the man behind a 50-acre wildlife preserve in South Myrtle Beach called The Institute for Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (or T.I.G.E.R.S.), per Rolling Stone, Antle also runs the Myrtle Beach Safari tour, which allows visitors to get up close and personal with the animals. 

Helping Antle care for the creatures and tend to the guests is a group of women, and some of them are considered to be his wives. In Tiger King, the women were seen working long hours (and allegedly earning little pay), while also being asked to wear sexy outfits. Needless to say, the docu-series left viewers wondering what their lives were really like.

Doc Antle has three 'wives' but might not be married

Tiger King introduced viewers to three women who various people in the docu-series claimed were Doc Antle's wives. Although the ladies' names were apparently changed along the way, in Tiger King "China" was identified by Antle himself as his "long-time girlfriend partner" and has apparently been living at the reserve since she was 17, per Oxygen. "Ranjnee" was a year younger when she arrived and has been a member of his team for 20 years. "Moksha" has been there almost as long, 16 years, to be exact.

While all three women have their own houses on Antle's land, he denies the claims about his relationship status. "I am absolutely not married nor have I been since my wife died over 20 years ago now," he told Oxygen. "I'm not married and I certainly don't have wives. I certainly am a single guy and I live in a house by myself."

"When I say 'my girl,' it's a cowboy saying, it's not that these are my wives," he continued. "Sure I've had girlfriends and there's girls I have had relationships with that have come and gone over the decades."

That may or may not be true, but the women featured in the docu-series aren't the only ones who have been involved with Antle. One woman even spoke out against him in the docu-series and has done so again following its release.

The woman who revealed what life was like with Doc Antle has spoken out again

Tiger King viewers know that not all of the women who were associated with Doc Antle appeared in the docu-series to help promote his lifestyle. Frankly, Barbara Fisher spoke out in order to expose Antle's lifestyle. Fisher worked at his animal park from 1999 to 2007 and during that time, she says she worked as an apprentice while enduring terrible conditions. She also "claimed in the docu-series that to make it to the top at Antle's preserve, one would have sex with him," according to Oxygen. "[H]e preferred to be his apprentices' first sexual partners so 'they would be bonded to him in this way, where he felt like he could get them to do anything.'"

Following Tiger King's release, Antle addressed Fisher's claims, telling Oxygen, "[These are] the ramblings of a crazy child who has a lot of, in my opinion, issues and somehow those have boiled up." Also saying that Fisher worked for him as a babysitter instead of taking care of the animals, he added that "maybe she thinks she was passed over or something."

Fisher responded to Antle's interview, telling Distractify, "Calling people who criticize or (even disagree with him) 'crazy' is a boilerplate response from Bhagavan. When any of my friends asked what I thought his response might be before the release of the documentary, I said 'he will call me crazy and try to minimize my involvement.' That is exactly what he has done."

Doc Antle has responded to the 'cult' accusations

Those who watched Tiger King may have been left thinking that Doc Antle runs "some sort of cult-like organization," as Oxygen puts it. This is something that the animal park owner — and man who may have multiple "wives" — denies. "I do not have a harem," he told Oxygen, claiming that some of the women seen with him in the docu-series were actually girlfriends of his children and grandchildren. "I'm what they call 'OFG' these days: old, fat, and grey. I embrace that character and I am not chasing down women. Twenty years ago I was more of a dashing fellow but even then I was ultra-conservative."

"The cultiest thing about us is that I totally believe that yoga has helped me stay limber and strong and made my life a better thing," Antle added, saying that he's more of a "country bumpkin than any type of cultist" and that they're actually "very normal down to earth people." 

Granted, we don't know that many "down to earth people" who spend their days roaming around with massive fang-filled, claw-bearing felines who also (possibly) have a trio of animal-print-wearing spouses, but maybe that's just us.