TMZ reports the animal rights organization views the trip as reckless and illegal, pointing, in particular, to Royalty jumping off an elephant’s head into the water.
PETA sent a letter on Tuesday to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, requesting that it open a probe into Doc’s South Carolina operation due to the fact that Royalty’s swim with the animal named Bubbles was in breach of the Animal Welfare Act.
Brown’s 7-year-old visited the Myrtle Beach Safari with her mother Nia Guzman, hanging out with a myriad of animals during a day-and-night safari. She also swam with a couple tiger cubs, with a video of her escapades posted on the official @missroyaltybrown Instagram, run by Guzman and boasting 1.1 million followers.
“Living the dream! #SaveTheTigersSaveTheWorld,” the caption on Royalty’s page read. “We love what you are doing @docantle thank you for these memories!”
Antle responded to PETA’s allegations, telling TMZ the organization tried the same thing when Lil Pump visited the safari. “Just a huge waste of time and resources for the federal veterinarians who have to check out these erroneous allegations,” he said. “We are in no ways in violation of the animal welfare act. We have continuously perfect inspections. We are well aware of the USDA protocols to conduct this type of filming.”
Antle continued, “Rest assured that we are in full compliance with all federal and state regulations. USDA is our partner in animal welfare and we share a passion and commitment to providing the highest possible care for our animal ambassadors at the preserve.”
A USDA representative told the outlet that they are “looking into” PETA’s allegations.
Doc Antle has gotten in trouble with the law before. In October 2020, he was indicted in Virginia for animal cruelty and wildlife trafficking, though he called the charges a sham. In another recent incident, PETA asked the USDA to examine him for purportedly violating the Animal Welfare Act.
Brittany Peet, PETA’s Deputy General Counsel for Captive Animal Law Enforcement, also released a statement in response to Royalty’s visit to Doc’s safari: “Baby chimpanzees, hyenas, and tigers are stolen from their mothers for photo ops like Royalty’s at shady facilities such as ‘Doc’ Antle’s Myrtle Beach Safari, and it’s common in this industry to cage, sell off, or kill animals once they’re no longer profitable babies. PETA has asked Royalty’s mom to put herself in these mothers’ shoes and set a kind example for families everywhere by deleting these posts, committing to never visiting another roadside zoo, and teaming up with us to condemn dismal parks that tear animal families apart.”