About Doc Antle


Bhagavan “Doc” Antle is a world renowned animal trainer and behaviorist who has devoted his life’s work to establishing intimate personal relationships with some of the planet’s most amazing animals. Doc is the Founder and Director of The Institute for Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (T.I.G.E.R.S.) in Myrtle Beach, SC. And as the Executive Director of a non-profit conservation organization, the Rare Species Fund (RSF), Doc is committed to conserving wildlife across the globe. The philanthropic work of Bhagavan “Doc” Antle has raised more than $1 million for select wildlife conservation projects around the world.

I’m unbelievably lucky, if there is a charmed life, I’ve already led four of them. — Doc Antle — as told to Rolling Stone magazine’s Ian S. Port

Born Mahamayavi Bhagavan Antle in Phoenix, AZ in 1960, Bhagavan spent his formative years developing a love of animals on his parents’ cattle ranch in Southern California. Because of difficulty pronouncing his unusual name, he went by “Kevin” in school. Later, as a young man, Bhagavan traveled to China where he received a Doctoral degree in Chinese medicine, and picked up the nickname “Doc.”

In 1982, Doc was approached by Exxon Corporation representatives, and was asked to make a presentation with a tiger at the Exxon Annual Convention. By 1983, Doc was training tigers for Exxon’s “Put A Tiger In Your Tank” advertising campaign. His tigers were being seen in print and film all around the world. Doc’s tigers participated in the Exxon campaign for more than 6 years, becoming his first Animal Ambassadors.

Over the next couple of decades, Doc’s celebrity as an elite animal trainer grew. The calls came pouring in from Hollywood and New York. He and his animals made half a dozen appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He was booked by Britney Spears for the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards, and worked on music videos for P. Diddy and Ashante, as well as multiple video projects for Janet Jackson.

Doc and his team of animal actors have also been featured on the big screen with the likes of Eddie Murphy (Dr. Dolittle), and Jim Carey (Ace Ventura: Pet Detective), as well as working on Disney’s Mr. MaGoo, The Jungle Book and Mighty Joe Young. The Rolling Stone magazine recently interviewed Doc and put together a compilation video entitled: Doc Antle’s Animal Actors.

After more than 30 years of success as an animal trainer, Doc’s primary focus has turned to conservation of the animals he loves in their native ranges. The Rare Species Fund supports small, on the ground projects worldwide. Projects like:
1) The Tiger Lantern Project, where solar lanterns are provided to local villages to reduce human/tiger conflict in central India.
2) The Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit in Zimbabwe, where RSF provides rangers with GPS and tracking equipment to fight poaching in Africa.
3) The Conservation Through Public Health program in Uganda, where RSF provides computers, cameras, GPS and scientific supplies for mountain gorilla research, as well as, camping gear for rangers to protect chimpanzees in the Impenetrable Forest.
All of the various conservation projects RSF supports are detailed on the Rare Species Fund website.

Away from the glaring lights of Hollywood, Doc Antle, the Rare Species Fund, and his troop of Animal Ambassadors have been instrumental in the production of educational programming such as Nat Geo Wild’s SuperCat, Nature’s Jaguar: Year of the Cat, PBS’s Big Cats, and many more. Additionally, Doc has contributed to vital genetics and behavioral research with Texas A&M and National Geographic, and Jaguar research with the Smithsonian Institute.

Save-Vanishing-Species-stamp-imageDoc Antle’s Rare Species Fund was a partner in establishing the U.S. Postal Service’s Save Vanishing Species stamp in 2011. It features the face of an Amur tiger cub. Net proceeds contribute to projects administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These projects work to conserve tigers, rhinos, great apes, marine turtles and African and Asian elephants.

Raising money for conservation and providing resources to researchers and rangers is not enough in today’s politicized regulatory environment. That is why Doc has also become involved with the International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF). The ICCF brings together leaders at the highest level of government, business, and the NGO community to set the conservation and environmental agenda in an effort to tailor governmental policy and shape future legislation. Conservation is far more effective when directed by clear policy objectives and supported by political leadership. Doc believes that a strong government affairs strategy gives conservation efforts the best chance for success.

Save the Tigers… Save the World! — Doc Antle

9 thoughts on “About Doc Antle”

  1. This biography shines some much needed light on the life and work of Doc Antle.


    • you cover some of the topics that many need to learn about. thank you so much for doing what you do. if there has ever been a person that I’m envious or jealous of, it would be you. I have visited myrtle beach and plan to again.


  2. Doc is An amazing Person; as is his family and staff. Doc is an Animal ADvocate, an Animal behaviourist; trainer etc. CHeck out at some of his picks with his family lions and his family orangutans there is definitely a Family resemblance. Visiting with Doc and his animal family is life changing. You might think twice before before eating your ice cream ,croissant and doughnuts cakes etc. that are made with Palm oil which are causing deforestation for animals and people.


  3. Zelda Nichols said:

    I have visited your Myrtle Beach location several times and along with it being an incredible adventure I have come to greatly admire the dedication of you and your staff. Having stayed in my marshfront home During Hurricane Matthew with my six cats I kept wondering what tyou did with all the animals out have in MB. I hope you and they are all safe and well .

    Thank you for all you do

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bhagavan Antle said:

      We were high and dry during the Hurricane… thanks for the concern.


      • Zelda Nichols, Murrells Inlet, SC said:

        So good to know. I have had Korats for 45 years (from Thailand and rarest breed recognized by CFA) and am the “go to” person” in the Us. Roe Korat rescue as well as the SoutheastRegional Director for The now defunct Korat Cat Fancier Association for 8years. My passion is for cats big and small and can never get enough of your big cats. I actually love all creatures and am nuts about TIGERS. I have been to TIGERS three times and had the honor of meeting you on my last visit in June.
        I am fascinated with cat psych 101, receive continual information from both Cornell and Tufts Schools Of Veterinary Medicine and have been studying cats for years. If you ever offer lectures or courses on your cats, would it be possible to receive an invitation? One never knows everything about these elegant, graceful felines.

        Thank you so much for all you do.


  4. Stephanie Ross said:

    Hello Doc Antle,

    I have seen what you stand for and the work you do. I feel strongly and passionately that the work you do is critical to setting an example to the world. I know that my skillset in marketing and compliance to laws and regulation could make me an asset to your work. I have the assets to help you grow and bring attention to your work, if you would just allow me opportunity to prove myself to you.


  5. Melissa Bolton said:

    Did you ever do shows at Jungle.Island around the years of 20p5-2006? My memory is nagging at me telling me I saw you “perform” with Ligers back then, but my memory could be wrong. Thank you, Melissa B


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