Tony the Truck Stop Tiger Letter to the Advocate
For most people, "Tony the Tiger" brings back childhood memories of the cartoon mascot for Frosted Flakes; but for many of us in south Louisiana "Tony the Tiger" evokes the very real image of animal abuse.
Tony the Tiger has been a roadside attraction at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete for years, despite the fact the owner, Mr. Michael Sandlin, allegedly is in violation of state and local laws.
It is hard to believe a tiger held captive and forced to walk through his own feces on a dirty concrete floor can be much of an attraction.
On the side of the cage is a sign posted which implores visitors not to throw rocks at the tiger. This poor creature has no refuge, not from the rock-throwing public or the Louisiana weather.
There is hope that Tony's condition will change and he will be allowed to live the rest of his life in a humane environment at a tiger sanctuary in Florida. However, Mr. Sandlin, fearing that his business would suffer if Tony is removed, has filed suit to block efforts by the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to free Tony.
Perhaps if Mr. Sandlin would focus on providing quality service, he would not have to depend on a public display of animal abuse to bring in customers. It is time for Mr. Sandlin to think of Tony's welfare and relinquish him to the care of the sanctuary.
vicki ann lancaster, Ph.D.
For the cats,
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457
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