March 13, 2011
Traversing Interstate 10 through the state of Louisiana, one will not be able to help coming across the “Tiger Truck Stop” at exit 139, where a travesty of justice and blatant animal abuse continues to occur. Tony the Tiger has spent every day, seven days a week, pacing and caged, since he was born a decade ago, as truck stop “onlookers” ogle him from the other side of his concrete prison. Tony’s predecessor, Selina, a white Bengal tiger who no longer must endure Tony’s dismal torture, is now stuffed, residing above the salad bar of the Tiger Truck Stop Restaurant.
Tony’s truck stop owners, the Sandlin family, have sadly been granted new permits to continue keeping him caged and abused, even though previous laws existed against “housing” such an animal, prior to the court cases against them. The state of Louisiana seems to have little issue “bending their own rules” to satisfy the Sandlins, a family that lost the right to keep such animals in the state of Texas in the late 1980’s. Even whilst violations existed in regard to the conditions where the tigers are kept, Tony still sits in his cell, wasting away, underdeveloped as a tiger and utilized as a roadside tourist attraction.
Many have worked frantically to organize several efforts against the re-permitting of Tony as a possession of the Sandlin family for their roadside attraction and their continued abuse of tigers through ownership in general. Over and again, even with the help of large anti-abuse organizations at their side and the support of over 10,000 people, the Sandalins seem to come out on top whilst Tony wastes away. Please click on the WILDTIMEONLINE Logo to listen to Thomas Janak interview Sky Williamson, who is one of the many who have been fighting for Tony’s freedom.
The effort to release Tony has obviously hit legal walls. Corruption exists that is bound by blatant uncaring for this majestic being. Tony does not belong in a concrete cell that degrades his health each and every day. Veterinary doctors who have viewed Tony up close have already warned those who care in regard to his fate to prepare for the worst. Please join in the endeavor to draw more public opinion against allowing the Sandalin family to own any more tigers in the future. Even if we must all watch Tony suffer and rot away in his prison, perhaps we can make his sacrifice mean something. Stand with those against the wanton abuse that the Sandalin family has committed against tigers by using them as a “sideshow” attraction.
No tiger should have to live the way Tony does. Let us, together, try to find a way of putting an end to this travesty. Even if we can not save Tony, maybe we CAN stop this from happening to another tiger and the exit 139 truck stop in Louisiana will be a “tiger truck stop” no more.
The AELLA Team