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
Tony the Tiger at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana
Just over 3,000 tigers remain
Tiger Population Plummeting
The tiger population has plunged 95% in the last century and there are perhaps just over 3,000 remaining on the entire planet. Two stories are presented in the video below.
First, there is Tony the Tiger at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana. Tony is "privately owned" and caged for a commercial venture. Carole Baskin, founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue, advocates rescuing Tony from lifetime captivity. Michael Sandlin, President of Tiger Truck Stop, counters, "...every American should have the right to own an animal of their choice".
Second, there is the Buddhist Tiger Temple in Thailand, Wat Pa Luang Ta Bua Temple on the River Kwai,which cages not only tigers but other animals for tourists. Jane Garrison, an animal welfare advocate, describes tourists having their photo taken with drugged tigers. Almost onehundred tigers are kept in "tiny, barren cages" with inadequate provision (water, food, medical). Garrison maintains these tigers are part of the illegal "tiger parts" trade and it is a "horrific scene". Tourists, by visiting the Tiger Temple, are in effect supporting a 'lifetime of torture" for these caged tigers. The Thailand Department of National Parks says they have carried out a thorough investigation and found no evidence of involvement in illicit trade or maltreatment of the tigers. Garrison counters that Care for the Wild (CWI) says up to 75 tigers have "disappeared" from the facility and the Tiger Temple keeps renaming the tigers the same name.
(CNN) Experts say the world's tiger population has plummeted 95 percent in the last century. HLN's Jane Velez-Mitchell reports.