Tiger King star Doc Antle was not happy to be probed on animal welfare during a recorded interview for National Geographic’s new series Trafficked and branded activists ‘Al-Qaeda’.
Investigative journalist Mariana Van Zeller met with the owner of Myrtle Beach Safari for the show’s first episode, Tigers, which exposes the ugly fate of tigers in the US.
However, not soon after she sat down with Doc, he compared people fighting for the wellbeing of tigers to the terrorist group responsible for atrocities such as 9/11 and the 2002 Bali bombings.
‘There’s a deep confusion going on that is being pushed by fake experts,’ Doc told Mariana in response to being asked why petting cubs is okay given that experts say it’s abuse.
‘I am the only one qualified in this activity of raising cubs. The people you are speaking about are fanatics, extremist fanatics.’
He continued: ‘You are speaking about someone who wishes to push an agenda that is as hard as sharia law saying that Al-Qaeda is an expert in how to live, sharia law is correct and we should all fall in.’
Metro.co.uk caught up with Mariana to discuss her interview with Doc, and she shared he was intimidating and patronising.
‘The first question was just about the history of the park and how it came to be and he was very happy answering that question,’ she recalled. ‘It was in my second question that I started asking my hard questions.
‘Immediately he told his family who were next to him to start filming and immediately he went on the attack. I think that it’s very telling in a way.’
She continued: ‘In a sense, it’s almost better than him just being honest about his operation.
‘When you have someone who immediately goes on the attack and starts calling my colleagues Al-Qaeda, viewers will make up their minds.
‘You get a sense that there’s something he’s possibly hiding.’Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller takes viewers on a journey inside the most dangerous black markets on the planet.
Each investigation in the eight-part series explores the complex and often violent inner workings of a smuggling network.
While she dives deeper and deeper into these underworlds, Mariana reveals that the people operating these trafficking rings are often a lot more like us than we realise.
Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller airs Mondays at 9pm from January 18th on National Geographic.
Credit: Original article published here.