Channel 19

Todd Dills

The saga of Tony the Truck Stop Tiger is over as tiger passes at age 17

| October 17, 2017

Tony the Tiger at Louisiana truck stop. (Photo Kris Ewing)

If you’ve been around trucking, and even if you haven’t, the last 10 years it’s likely you’ve heard of the Gross Tete, La., Tiger Truck Stop on I-10, the lifetime home of a Bengal tiger named Tony, as well as predecessor big cats going back many years before.

Truck stop owner Michael Sandlin has spoken in these pages of his personal love and his staff’s care for the animal, as animal rights activists from the Animal Legal Defense Fund and other organizations, as well as some among the trucking communityhave for years sought to have the tiger removed to a tiger sanctuary. Sandlin, it appears, was victorious at least in one way — keeping them from their goal.

But neither side, ultimately, has gotten what it wanted, as Tony was euthanized yesterday, ABC and other outlets report, at age 17 and in ill health after repeated attempts at improving his health.

That’s longer than tigers typically live in the wild, and more or less about average, from what I can tell, for those in captivity. Whatever you think about the long debate over the tiger’s residence there you can run back through the animal’s story via the links to prior coverage, in reverse chronological order, below.

Most recently, Sandlin’s story was told by producers of the “Criminal” podcast late last year, which regular readers will recall. If you missed it, you can take a listen here:

Roundup: Tony the truck stop tiger back in headlines, another Kelty cabover view, and speaking of gators …

Listen: La. Tiger Truck Stop owner Michael Sandlin on 'Criminal' podcast; photos of the restored Kelty Farms 1976 International TranStar's matching flatbed; and did you ...

La. truck stop allowed to keep Tony the Tiger, for now

La. truck stop allowed to keep Tony the Tiger, for now

A Louisiana lawsuit to remove Tony the tiger from his truck stop home has been dismissed, but it could be pursued in the same court ...

'Leave Tony alone' -- An owner-operator on the truck stop tiger

‘Leave Tony alone’ — An owner-operator on the truck stop tiger

Animal rights advocates are a vocal bunch, as I've found out over the course of the last several years. Write word one about Tony, the ...

Tony the Truck Stop Tiger: Legal limbo

Tony the Truck Stop Tiger: Legal limbo

There have been so many back-and-forth motions in the battle over the fate of the Siberian/Bengal tiger, Tony (pictured), at the Tiger Truck Stop in ...

Channel 19 Monday: Fallen log hauler gets send-off; Court to Tiger Truckstop: ‘Set Tony free’

Last ride for Maine log hauler 'Mackie,' R.I.P. The Central Maine Morning-Sentinel news site reported late last week on the Skowhegan memorial-service convoy that was ...

Tony 'the truck stop tiger' -- calls from the driver community to uncage him

Tony ‘the truck stop tiger’ — calls from the driver community to uncage him

Nearly two years have passed since I first wrote about efforts by animal-rights activists (post from January 2009 originally on old Channel 19 blog home ...

A tiger in Louisiana -- and we're not talking LSU football

A tiger in Louisiana — and we’re not talking LSU football

Louisiana scored a threepeat first in the Worst Roads category in Overdrive's Highway Report Card survey this year, mostly for the reported awful condition of ...

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