Bhagavan "Doc" Antle is the founder and director of a world renowned wildlife preserve located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA, call the Institute for Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (TIGERS). He is also the founder of the Rare Species Fund, a grassroots organization that supports wildlife conservation projects around the world.
Doc credits his love for exotic and wild animals to his upbringing on a huge cattle ranch in Arizona where he spent his early years. From a young age he began raising and caring for every animal he could get his hands on. As a young man he had the opportunity to travel and explore the world and spent a great amount of time in Asia where he received a doctorate degree in medicine. Today, Doc is widely recognized as one of the foremost animal trainers in the world, having worked with thousands of animals and traveled the globe promoting the education and conservation of some of our planet's rarest and most endangered species.
In 1983, Doc founded TIGERS as a wildlife education organization dedicated to promoting global conservation education through interactive, entertaining programs. He pioneered the use of animal ambassador programs to help visitors reconnect with the nature and to promote special connections with wildlife that could drive a global conservation agenda and message. The animal ambassadors at TIGERS are living examples of current global environmental issues and are the best possible surrogates to help promote the importance of wildlife conservation and worldwide biodiversity. The TIGERS preserve and its sister project in Miami, Florida, receive more than three million visitors a year. The preserve has raised and trained more than four hundred big cats since its inception and is considered one of the premier private wildlife facilities in the world.
The Rare Species Fund (RSF), also established in 1983, is a grassroots organization that provides financial support and practical training to wildlife conservation initiatives in situ. While the Fund does not limit its geographic footprint, its support has primarily focused on projects in South America, Africa, and Thailand. The direct-to-end-user approach employed by the RSF places it among the world's most effective conservation advocates and ensures the greatest value for every dollar spent. RSF also works closely with state, federal, and international bodies to support and develop sound wildlife policies and to secure sustained funding for longterm research and conservation initiatives. RSF projects optimize the prospects for preserving endangered species; for releasing captive animals into suitable, protected habitats; and for expanding awareness of the ties between humans and the natural world. To date, the RSF has contributed more than $1 million USD to wildlife initiatives around the world.
Doc has worked on over 500 films, documentaries, TV shows and advertisements of all kinds. His credits include films like Ace Ventura, Dr. Dolittle, Mighty Joe Young, Disney's Jungle Book and many, many more. Doc is often consulted and appears as an on-screen wildlife expert for networks like the National Geographic Channel, BBC, Discovery Channel and CNN.