Tim Stark and ‘Doc’ Antle
In the wake of the first series, other roadside zoos have also been shut down.
Stark, the owner of Wildlife in Need, in Charlestown, Ind., has been buffeted by legal troubles in which he lost his animals, his property and his firearms. After former staff members accused him of animal abuse, Stark, who advertised his facility as a nonprofit, was found by the U.S.D.A. to have violated the Animal Welfare Act 120 times; a judge permanently revoked his exhibition license and fined him and his facility a total of $340,000. In April, an Indiana judge ruled that Stark had fraudulently used funds from the nonprofit for his own personal use and barred him from ever acquiring, owning or exhibiting animals again.
Expect to see some of these events in “Tiger King 2,” including the removal and relocation of more than 200 animals from his facility in September 2020. A Netflix production crew was filming during the bumpy removal process, in which several animals went missing, resulting in an arrest warrant for Stark for contempt of the court’s removal order.
Another warrant was issued in late September, for intimidation and battery, after an Indiana deputy attorney general told police Stark had threatened him during an inspection of Stark’s facility. Stark fled the charges and was captured a few weeks later in Granville, N.Y., after officers evacuated the bed-and-breakfast where he was staying, believing he had a live grenade. (He did have a grenade, but it turned out to be fake.) He eventually pleaded guilty to a lesser intimidation charge and was sentenced to time served.
In April, Stark posted a Facebook Live video in which he said he couldn’t “think right mentally anymore.” He also brandished a gun and threatened violence to himself and others. He was taken into custody, given a psychiatric evaluation, and his license to carry handguns was suspended, with an Indiana court declaring him a “dangerous person.”
In June, a federal judge ordered Stark to pay the nonprofit group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals more than $730,000 in legal fees stemming from various court battles with him. Stark later posted a Facebook Live video in which he said he had declared bankruptcy. A hearing regarding the collection of assets belonging to his Wildlife in Need organization is scheduled for Dec. 16. (For more on Stark’s criminal cases, listen to the “The Roadside Zoo” episode of the Strangeville podcast.)