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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Celebrity Conservationist Charged With Dealing in the Ivory of Tigers

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The star of Animal Planet’s critically acclaimed series Tiger King is being charged with the sale of protected wildlife.

Nicholas Lidster, whose conservation work garnered celebrity accolades, was charged on Friday in Rochester with two counts of unlawful possession of protected wildlife. The charge accuses him of illegally importing and selling a tiger cub in Japan in 2010. It was the second illegal possession charge he faced: A 2015 arrest for importing a tiger kept in his home in South Carolina.

Lidster, 63, is also accused of improperly transporting a tiger that appeared in the show, including a tiger cub named Indy. That case is still pending, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A spokesman for Animal Planet said that the cable network would not comment on the case, saying they wanted to respect Lidster’s request for privacy.

Lidster was charged with unlawful possession of protected wildlife in 2006, but his legal issues with conservation appeared to be washed away. The episode in which he saved Indy from nearly certain death, the centerpiece of the show, was nominated for an Emmy in 2007.

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