Tony is a 11 year old Siberian/Bengal tiger used as a roadside attraction at Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete Louisiana. Tony’s owner, Michael Sandlin, has bought, sold, bred, and exhibited tigers for OVER 20 years.
In 2003, because of violations and fines, Mr. Sandlin and the USDA made an agreement where 3 of the 4 tigers he owned, Toby, Khan and Rainbow, were sent to Tiger Haven in Kingston TN.
The USDA reduced the fines and allowed Michael Sandlin to keep one tiger, Tony.
Many of life's failures...
"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." - Thomas Edison
We still get calls and emails every day about what can be done to save Tony the truck stop tiger. It has been the most publicly decried account of animal abuse to come to our attention. WE CANNOT BUY HIM as it is illegal to buy or sell a tiger across state lines and just perpetuates the trade.
Until the laws change there isn't anything that anyone can do except keep on the pressure to pass laws that make it illegal for the private sectorto breed, possess and exhibit big cats. You can do that with easy to send letters to lawmakers at CatLaws.com
Meanwhile, you can keep up to date on what is happening on these pages:
Update 12/29/09 Tiger Truck Stop owner Michael Sandlin received a permit from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries on Dec. 14, 2009 which will allow him to keep the tiger.
Most people agree that a truck stop is no place for a tiger. The constant noise, exhaust fumes and taunting by the ignorant are cruel and inhumane. Billboards along the interstate tell commuters that Grosse Tete is a backwards sort of place by announcing that there is a captive tiger at the truck stop.
It is no wonder that business development passes by this impoverished town. The notion of keeping a big cat in such a miserable environment would be any company's first hurdle in ever being successful there. One man says mistakenly that having a tiger is what brings him business and money, but the rest of the town will continue to suffer from the bad name this activity has given Grosse Tete.
Thousands of people around the globe have been following the plight of Tony the tiger and have called for the Iberville Parish to uphold the ban on such displays that they had since 1993.
Instead of enforcing the ban and showing the world that Iberville Parish is a good place to live and work, they chose instead to change the law to fit the desire of one man who wants to keep a tiger in a cage. Perhaps none of the commissioners live in Grosse Tete. Their actions indicate that they don't care what visitors or potential businesses think of this ugly blight on Louisiana's reputation.