HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Local representatives are pushing for a new bill to pass within the state Senate that would regulate wild, endangered animal care.
Those animals include large cats, non-native bears and great apes.
Doc Antle, founder and director of T.I.G.E.R.S. Preserve in Socastee, said he's been supporting and helping build this bill for about three years.
The bill is geared more towards zoos, preserves and other captivities because there is almost nobody in the state of South Carolina that owns one of these wild animals as a pet.
Antle said he took a particular interest in this bill because S.C. is one of the few states that has not adopted legislation that protects wildlife from being kept as pets.
However, Antle said he firmly believes that high-quality preserves are especially beneficial for these endangered animals.
"It's essential that there's a stable body of captive-bred tigers to hold vitally necessary genetics that are spread throughout the captive tiger population," said Antle.
However, Antle said there is some opposition against the bill.
"The only opposition to the bill is people who are looking to ban wildlife in captivity and ban all animals in captivity, including your dogs and cats," he said.
For a complete description of House Bill 3531, click here.