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Tony VERY Skinny

Tony VERY Skinny

11.15.2011

Judge Rules To Remove Tiger From Grosse Tete Truck Stop

New Orleans, LA on

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45165645/ns/local_news-new_orleans_la/t/judge-rules-remove-tiger-grosse-tete-truck-stop/
WDSU.com
updated 11/4/2011 3:16:48 PM ET2011-11-04T19:16:48
The debate over whether a tiger can remain as an attraction at a Grosse Tete truck stop has been clawed at for years. A state judge ruled that the Tiger Truck Stop owner could no longer keep his tiger, Tony, at the gas station. Michael Sandlin, Tony’s owner, said thousands have come to marvel at the exotic animal on display at the truck stop. “We're from Florida and we were on our way to Texas and it was kind of amazing to see a big cat here,” said Jody McGahan, a Tiger Truck Stop customer. “He's beautiful” “Every American should have the right to own an exotic animal of their choice if they're financially and morally capable of taking care of that animal,” Sandlin said. The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries gave Sandlin a permit to keep the tiger, but a nonprofit group, the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit against the agency in a bid to have the cat moved to a more natural setting. The paddock the animal is kept in appears larger than some zoo exhibits with a grassy area, a tank for the tiger to swim in, toys, shade and an air conditioned room for Tony. The barred cage is surrounded by a barbed-wire fence and the truck stop is staffed 24 hours, Sandlin said. Regardless, a judge will have to decide if the attraction will be allowed to stay. “He’s beautiful. I would miss him,” McGahan said. Sandlin hasn’t filed an appeal yet, but his attorney said he plans to do so. The Animal Legal Defense Fund said it will “continue to do everything we can to make sure Tony's next home is a reputable, accredited sanctuary that can give Tony the life he deserves.”

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