Turns out, Doc Antle, one of the stars of Netflix's new docuseries, Tiger King: Murder: Mayhem and Madness, had an important role in Britney Spears' iconic 2001 MTV Video Music Awards performance at the Metropolitan Opera House.
In recently unearthed photos of the performance, where the Princess of Pop debuted her hit, "I'm A Slave 4 U," with a seven-foot albino Burmese python named Banana, Antle can be seen on stage with the star. Spears' set is most notable for Banana's appearance after an intense dance break, but the jungle themed-performance also included a tiger and Antle was right besides the star as she kicked off the number.
In a throwback interview with MTV News, performance collaborator Mike Hano spoke about the tiger's role in the spectacle. "There was also a tiger — an adult tiger — in that performance. That was a big deal, even though it wasn't featured as much in the show," he admitted. "Britney didn't have to handle that thing like she did the snake, but in some ways, that was really a bigger deal for me."
Unfortunately, Antle confirmed in the same interview that both the tiger and Banana have passed away since the 2001 number, but that hasn't stopped both animals from leaving a digital footprint in the performance almost two decades later. Scroll on below to relive Spears' 2001 performance and see the brief glimpses of Antle in the background!
Photo: Getty Images