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 VERY Skinny

Tony VERY Skinny


From Truckers News: Bengal Welfare


Drivers join animal-rights activists in call for relocating the ‘truckstop tiger’

By: Truckers News Senior Editor Todd Dills || February 1, 2011

Photo Courtesy Ask The Trucker / Direct Link:

Two years have passed since I first wrote about efforts of animal-rights activists to force Gross Tete, La., Tiger Truck Stop owner Michael Sandlin to relocate the caged Bengal-Siberian tiger on the site of stop.
Tony, as the tiger is known, has been on display there for 10 years as an attraction to curiosity seekers, and several predecessor tigers have made the stop a sort of institution along I-10.
Those previous efforts, aimed at forcing local and state governments to enforce an existing law that, activists argued, made the stop’s display of the tiger illegal, failed in March that year. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries issued the Tiger Truck Stop a temporary permit for Tony’s display, and said permit was renewed nearly two years later after an unannounced visit by an LDWF inspector found conditions satisfactory in December last year.
Leading into the moment of the original permit’s expiration in December, a renewed effort by activists was launched, with a petition filed with LDWF by the Animal Legal Defense Fund that argued not just for Tony’s removal on the grounds of general conditions but that the permits being issued had no legal underpinning. This time around, joining the public call for Tony to be uncaged was a set of folks among your fellow drivers.

Notably, Allen Smith, a fuel hauler and proprietor of Askthe­
with his wife, Donna, had been writing about the dispute over the tiger for a long time himself, but he hadn’t seen the tiger in about six years when he and Donna revisited Tony back in October.
They posted a video subsequently that showed what they felt was an animal in distress, pacing around a fairly small caged area, eating grass from the enclosure. What’s more, Smith has in the past praised the Tiger Truck Stop for other things, like its down-home food and service, perhaps uncommon among stops of late. But after CNN asked for footage from his visit and then ran a story Smith felt unfairly portrayed the condition of the tiger, running an older video, in a November post at he called tiger owner Sandlin’s own statements about Tony’s health “totally false.”
Smith went on to say that, in the CNN report, “Sandlin states that Tony is a ‘beautiful, healthy’ tiger and is ‘not isolated.’ When asked about the ‘Do Not Throw Rocks’ sign on the outside of the cage, Sandlin counters that the only people throwing objects at Tony are the animal rights activists and refers to them as ‘domestic terrorists.’ He also states that Tony is ‘very well taken care of’” (italics Smith’s).
Smith called for truckers to boycott the stop: “There is something seriously wrong in Grosse Tete, Louisiana. Truckers should boycott the Tiger Truck Stop until this real issue is solved.”
Though it remains to be seen what will happen next, as both the truckstop and the activists seem determined to dig in their heels over the issue, money talks louder than words in most cases, as Smith’s call for a boycott acknowledges. Other drivers joined him in expressing the sentiment. Note the volume of comments to my blog post ( on the subject Dec. 6. Though not all the comments were in favor of removing Tony, and most weren’t from drivers, a solid majority were no doubt energetically behind the notion of relocation to a more humane living arrangement for the animal.
Truckers News Senior Editor Todd Dills is the author of a novel, Sons of the Rapture, and blogs daily at Write him at or


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. There is no truth on the video Michael Sandlin has posted on his website. Tony has lost a considerable amount of weight since Sandlin's video was made and he is obviously NOT a happy tiger. Sandlin's claim that animal rights activists are tormenting Tony by throwing things at him is ridiculous and and outright lie. He has exploited Tony for ten years with no concern about his welfare. Sadly, Sandlin also appears to have the LDWF in his corner. Sandlin does NOT preserve tigers, he exploits them. His only motivation is monetary gain at Tony's expense.

  3. Michael Sandlin we do not wish to hear your opinion about the abuse that you have caused to TONY and all the tigers you have ever "owned" Please go find something better to do with your time than post on this blog because your comments will only be deleted!!!!!