I will be posting older articles about Tony here. I apologize they are not in chronological order right now, but the dates of the articles are in the titles.
Truck Stop fights to keep Tony the Tiger – 1.4.2009
Note: from http://www.askthetrucker.com, a post about Tony from 1/4/2009 that caught my eye and I commented on with an update about Tony.
PHOTO BY : PATRICK DENNIS of THE ADVOCATE
Those who have been in OTR trucking for awhile, certainly know about the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana. I always made it a point to stop there when passing through, due to three reasons: (1) Cheap Food – (2) Good Food – and (3) To check out the Bengal tigers. For years, animal right activists have been fighting to have the tigers removed and placed in a better, more natural environment. Prevailing with some success, three of the tigers were sent elsewhere, leaving Tony the Tiger the lone exhibition.
Now, last November, 2008, State Wildlife Officials had given the owner of the truck stop, 30 days to remove Tony. On December 16th, a judge blocked the order until a hearing could be held, scheduled for December 29, 2008. Before that date rolled around, the owner, filed a lawsuit to keep Tony the Tiger. As of this date, the saga continues.
I, personally, never enjoyed watching the Tiger(s) locked up in their cages. Such majestic animals, pacing back and forth, or simply hiding in the background away from the peering eyes of humans, always struck me as kind of sad. So for now, we’ll just watch and listen to see how the lawsuit turns out.
The owner, Michael Sandlin, has supervised these wild animals for over 20 years. I was just wondering…how do other drivers feel about this?
Should the operation continue, or should Tony the Tiger be set “free?”
Please visit: http://www.askthetrucker.com/truck-stop-fights-to-keep-tony-the-tiger/ to see all the comments on this post.
The individuals deciding Tony’s fate had the opportunity to give him a safe, clean home with proper medical care, food and enrichment, and still they chose to let him continue to suffer at the truck stop.
Tony is exploited 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and breathes in the fumes and endures the noise of trucks and cars, as well as the taunting of ignorant people. Surely this is not a healthy environment for him. How can anyone condone such living conditions as these for any animal?
Laws were broken and changed to cater to one individual, Michael Sandlin, whose greed, selfishness and cruelty were more important to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries than the welfare of Tony.
People all over the world voiced their concern for Tony on social networking sites, by signing petitions and contacting the LDW&F and anyone else who they thought could help free Tony, but their pleas went unanswered and were ignored.
Sandlin was offered a home for Tony at an accredited big cat sanctuary, but refused. If he truly cared about Tony he would have released him to such a sanctuary, but his only concern is to exploit Tony as a money-making gimmick.
To allow such a blatant display of animal cruelty to continue is very sad and disturbing and makes one wonder what more was involved in this decision. All those involved in this horrendous verdict, as well as those who did nothing to help Tony, should be ashamed – to allow this magnificent cat to continue to suffer is in itself a cruel and inhumane act.
I , along with many others, will continue to be a voice for Tony by broadcasting his story and his suffering. We must let those individuals involved in making this horrendous decision know of our outrage and objection.
Eye of The Tiger 11.11.2009
Note: This article is from The Independent Weekly an alternative weekly newspaper of Lafayette, Louisiana.
Readers of The Independent Weekly may recall our Feb. 4 coverstory on the controversy surrounding the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete. That’s where owner Mike Sandlin keeps his “pet,” Tony, a 600-pound, 9-year-old Bengal-Siberian tiger in a cage about the size of the back end of an 18-wheeler. Always the proud scorn of animal rights activists, Sandlin recently introduced a new souvenir T-shirt. The Hanes cotton T costs $10 and features a large picture of Tony licking his chops above the slogan, “Animal Rights Activists taste like chicken.” Available only at the Tiger Truck Stop. — NS
Tony continues to wait for the decision of his destiny.
Follow-up on Tony the Tiger in Grosse Tete 8.16.2009
August 16, 12:22 PM
New Orleans Pet Rescue Scene Examiner Teresa Rowell
For those of you following the fate of Tony, the Bengal tiger caged at a truck stop in Grosse Tete, here is the latest from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
According to a letter postmarked August 11, 2009, from Maria Davidson, Large Carnivore Program Manager, the Iberville parish permit has been issued and “the Department (Wildlife and Fisheries) is in the process of reviewing the state Tiger Truck Stop application.”
Davidson further writes, “It is the Department’s position that private possession of tigers poses a significant hazard to public safety and is detrimental to the health of the animal. Prolonged confinement is by its nature stressful to tigers and proper long-term care by experienced persons is essential to the health of the animal.”
These are promising words. Let’s see what happens next.