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
The other day I was driving in Louisiana and I stopped for the night in Grosse Tete, exit 139 on interstate 10. The Tiger truck stop has a live tiger. Tony the truck stop tiger has been there for over 16 years. He is caged up and Michael Sandlin who is the owner of the tiger has repeatedly been in violation for the care of this poor animal. Violations include having an insufficient number of trained employees, keeping the tiger in unsound facilities, having no veterinary care program for the tiger, and providing improper nutrition for the animal. I called Peta and spoke to an employee who informed me that the permit that Mr. Sandlin has for Tony runs out Dec 2011. And because he the owner of the tiger he can do what ever he wants with the animal. He has been ordered to move Tony from the truck stop, and who knows what he will do with the animal.
My heart breaks for this poor animal. There are 15,000 exotic animals that are owned by people. They get them as babies and they think oh how cute is that. Then the animal grows up and they end up being caged in their backyards. Being caged up in someones backyard is just plain cruel. Exotic animals are not meant to be owned by people like you and me.
I hope Mr. Sandlin does the right thing for Tony and finds some sort of sanctuary where Tony can live out his final days. But I have my doubts.