Channel 19

Todd Dills

Permitting Tony the truckstop tiger

| December 30, 2009

After a year and more of challenges to the legality of Tony the truckstop tiger’s residence at the Gross Tete, La., Tiger Truck Stop by animal rights activists, the AP reports the owners have obtained necessary permits from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to keep the tiger. South Carolina-based hauler Kris Ewing took the opportunity of a Christmas run to Laredo to stop in and take a few pictures of Tony and the truckstop (the latter seen here). As he posted to the Truckers News photo-sharing group, “I’m making the best of it during this holiday season. Doesn’t look like I’ll be making it home for Christmas this year. My dispatch sent me on a run to Laredo, Texas, and said they had no guarantee of a return load until tigertruckstopkrisWednesday or Thursday. That’s the way trucking is, I reckon. So, I’m making the best of it.” He was running out of his 70 hours and needed to reset. “Why not at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, La.?” For a look at some of his pictures and more photos from the road, click on his panoramic shot here.

  • Tigress62

    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.

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