Truck Stop Attraction in Jeopardy
Posted: Dec 16, 2008 11:59 PM
Updated: Dec 21, 2008 05:30 PM
A 550 pound tiger is in the middle of controversy. He lives in a cage at Tiger Truck Stop at the I-10 Grosse Tete exit. His days there may be numbered.
For 21 years, the Tiger Truck Stop has had tigers exhibited and it never been a problem until now.
In 2006, the state legislature changed the rules and made anyone with an exotic animal apply for a special permit. The owner, Michael Sandlin says he tried to but was denied.
The truck stop is in Iberville Parish. In 1993 they created a similar law keeping wild and exotic animals for display out of the parish but Sandlin claims he was verbally told he was exempt and was grand-fathered into the ordinance.
A small victory in court Tuesday for the truck stop. A temporary restraining order a was signed stopping state wildlife officials from removing the tiger.
A hearing is set for december 29th to rule on the permanent injunction. Until then, Sandlin is petitioning the city council to officially grandfather him in.
Who would dare call a trucker a bunny hugger? No one in their right mind.
This is what one trucker had to say:
“I’m a truck driver, and I’m through Gross Tete (LA) quite often. It is very sad how this tiger just paces back and forth on the concrete and sleeps on a concrete bench. Whatever the weather outside, the tiger just sits as a prisoner, like a circus sideshow, no toys to play with, they just throw a shovel of food in twice a day. I really feel bad for this animal. He breathes the exhaust of trucks that park just feet away from his cage, and idle at night to keep warm.” MIKEL0352
In case you have never seen this tiger-held-hostage, he has been penned in a small concrete cell next to the gas pumps at exit 139 on I-10 in Grosse Tete, LA for the past 8 years. There is a law against such displays and it has been on the books since 1993 but no one has ever enforced it. People have been complaining for years that this is a bad way to treat a tiger and finally the Iberville Parish is ready to listen.
On January 20th, 2009 at 6PM they will convene to decide if they should enforce their ordinance that prohibits this display. If they enforce their rules, Tony the Truck Stop Tiger can be relocated to an accredited sanctuary where he will feel the grass beneath his feet, be able to run for the first time and will have a spring fed pool to cool off in at Big Cat Rescue.
The Tiger Truck Stop’s owner, Michael Sandlin is fighting the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries demand that he send the tiger to a sanctuary. He says that people like seeing his tiger in his little cage. He says it will cost him business if he loses the live tiger as a draw. We think people are smarter than that. Hearing from you can really make a difference.
If you have seen this abusive situation, please take a minute to let the Iberville Parish know how you feel. If you haven’t seen it, you can check out the videos and the 20 years of USDA violations regarding inadequate care of the tiger at www.FreeTony.com
Iberville Parish Courthouse 2ND Floor, 58050 Meriam Street Plaquemine, LA 70764 225-687-3257 firstname.lastname@example.org
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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