CBS Crimesider on Tony the Truck Stop Tiger
Tiger caged at La. truck stop can stay a while longer, but then that cat’s got to go, judge rules
(CBS/AP) BATON ROUGE, La. – A live 10-year-old tiger caged at a Louisiana truck stop can stay there until the owner’s current permit expires, but then the controversial cat needs to be relocated, a judge has ruled.
An injunction issued Friday by State District Judge R. Michael Caldwell bars Louisiana wildlife officials from renewing the permit to keep the animal on the premises of the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, west of Baton Rouge. The current permit expires in December.
Animal Legal Defense Fund attorney Matthew Liebman said the judge refused to revoke the current permit, which means the truck stop is allowed to keep the tiger until Dec. 14.
The permit was originally issued in 2009, and reissued last year, to Michael Sandlin. Sandlin and some animal advocacy groups have been at odds for years over his keeping of exotic cats at the truck stop. He currently keeps one adult tiger, 10-year-old Tony (what else?), in a large caged area just off a parking area at the facility. He also touts the tiger exhibit on his website as a tourist draw, along with a Cajun restaurant, video poker and tire service for truckers.
Liebman said the Animal Legal Defense Fund will work with the state to find a new home for the tiger at an animal sanctuary.