In profoundly 2020 news, the internet has done what it does best, discovering a link between “exotic animal enthusiast” Bhagavan ‘Doc’ Antle and pop star Britney Spears that dates all the way back to Britney’s 2001 VMAs performance.
Antle, who founded The Institute for Great Endangered and Rare Species (T.I.G.E.R.S), became a household name after the absolutely bonkers Netflix documentary series Tiger King dropped earlier this month – which, if you haven’t seen yet, makes for primo/deranged self-isolation content.
Prior to all that, however, Doc Antle was an animal trainer who worked on various movie sets such as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, and was a regular figure on the late night talk show circuit.
And it appears that in 2001, Antle was given a particularly high-profile gig, with eagle-eyed internet detectives finding footage of Antle – and one of his tigers – on stage with Brit during her 2001 VMAs performance of ‘I’m a Slave 4 U’.
— 💎 (@heidiwood_) March 30, 2020
Though the animal most people probably remember when you bring up Spears’ VMAs performance was the snake she wrapped around her while singing the 2001 hit, you may recall that the whole thing began with Britney inside of a cage in front of a golden tabby tiger – and its handler, Antle.
Fucking wild. Watch the performance below.