This tiger has been on exhibit at a roadside truck stop for the last 16 years.
The siberian tiger, named “Tony,” resides at a parking lot exhibit at the stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana.
Truck stop owner Michael Sandlin has been breeding, selling, and exhibiting tigers for over 20 years, and insists that Tony is happy where he is. In fact, he maintains that he is helping prevent the species’ extinction and has an open petition to help save Tony’s “iconic exhibit” for the public to enjoy.
“Tony thinks Animal Rights Activists taste like chicken,” said Sandlin.
Veterinarian Jennifer Conrad, however, has her own professional opinions. “Tony is in poor condition and needs intervention on his behalf,” says Conrad. “This poor cat is subjected to diesel fumes and noise without a break.” She explains that the constant flow of gas fumes and the drone of engines is without a doubt harmful to an animal with such sensitive hearing and acute sense of smell.
It’s clear that Tony isn’t as comfortable as his owner claims he is; We can see this by viewing the recordings of his constant pacing. Pacing is often seen in stressed animals living in small closures without proper stimulation. Behavior like this is “considered an indication of poor psychological well-being in animals,” according to London’s Institute of Neurology.
The USDA confirms this, citing the truck stop for unsanitary feeding practices, mishandling tigers; failure to provide veterinary care, shelter from inclement weather, clean drinking water, and knowledgeable employees proficient in big cat husbandry.
Animal Legal Defense Fund, along with hundreds of thousands of others, are pleading for Tony to be released to sanctuary. However, his fate is currently tied up in the courts. Read more about the status of tony here or join the rally to move him to a better location by signing here.