Carole's letter to Emily:
Thank you for continuing to cover the story of Tony the tiger. The media attention has really helped people to see that there are some places where tigers are still treated very badly. People driving through Grosse Tete have complained to us more often about the situation at the Tiger Truck Stop than any other roadside atrocity.
Finally the cat is getting noticed by people far and wide and they don't like what they see. In just the past couple of days 9,820 emails and an unknown number of faxes and phone calls were placed to officials asking them to support Louisiana's Wildlife and Fisheries decision to send the tiger to an accredited sanctuary.
In all of the horrible situations we have asked our supporters to write letters about, this one has had more than a 1,000 more people get involved than did to save tigers from being cut up for their parts and the outcry against Memphis replacing their live tiger mascot Tom II. If you talk to people outside of the small community of Grosse Tete, you will find that most of them would be appalled to see the way this poor creature lives.
To see a video that contrasts Tony's current lifestyle to the one that awaits him watch this 2 minute video and see what 58 people had to say about it:
Maybe if media attention stays strong, this story will receive wider coverage over the next 13 days? You can thank the reporter, Emily Turner, for her continued coverage at: 'firstname.lastname@example.org'
Watch this video at: http://www.nbc33tv.com/home/video/36268354.html
Tony the Tiger Remains at Truck Stop
By Emily Turner
Story Published: Dec 16, 2008 at 6:36 PM CST
Story Updated: Dec 16, 2008 at 6:36 PM CST
Tony the Tiger is creating quite a roar in Grosse Tete. He was supposed to move to a new home, but he's still living at the truck stop. Tony the Tiger has attracted tourists at his gas station home for over 8 years. Many thought his cage would be empty today, but thanks to his owner he'll get to stay a little longer.
The truck stop has been a fixture on Interstate 10 for over 20 years. It has exhibited over 20 live tigers, right in the gas station's parking lot. But 30 days ago, the truck stop received a letter from the state to remove its main feature, Tony, from its premises. Tuesday marked the end of the deadline, but the 550 lb cat is still in his cage.
Iberville Parish passed an ordinance in 1993 prohibiting private ownership of wild and exotic animals. The tigers at the truck stop were left alone until a 2007 state law put the LA Department of Wildlife and Fisheries jurisdiction over such matters. The owner of the truck stop, Michael Sandlin, says upheaval from animal rights activists forced the governmental agency to take action, so Sandlin has no other choice but take the matter to court.
"When we couldn't get any one from the city council and clarify their ordinance, which was weak to say the least, we had to file a lawsuit against Wildlife and Fisheries from coming in and taking any kind of enforcement action."
Judge J. Robin Free signed the injunction this morning, keeping Tony the Tiger on the premises until the case's hearing on the 29th of this month and buying Sandlins more time to get changes made to the Parish's ordinance.
We'll continue to track Tony's fate over the next 13 days.
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