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Victory! ALDF Wins Freedom for Tony the Truck Stop Tiger

Victory! ALDF Wins Freedom for Tony the Truck Stop Tiger

Tony, the 10-year-old Siberian Bengal tiger who’s been at the heart of an ongoing catfight over his living conditions at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, La., has had his freedom granted!

On Friday, May 6, District Judge R. Michael Caldwell of the East Baton Rouge District Court granted the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s (ALDF) request for a permanent injunction against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), preventing them from renewing the annual permit that allows Michael Sandlin to keep Tony as of this December 14. 

Unbeknownst to Tony, he’s garnered the attention of people around the world who have been fighting to have him freed from the concrete cell he’s spent his entire life in for years. Unfortunately, officials have bent the rules and looked the other way when it came to the Tiger Truck Stop. 

Despite state laws preventing private ownership of exotic animals, Sandlin was grandfathered in by the LDWF because he owned Tony before the laws were enacted in 2006, leaving Tony, who’s been alone since 2003, stuck.

This April, the ALDF stepped up to intervene on Tony’s behalf by filing a lawsuit against the LDWF and its secretary Robert Barham arguing that granting Sandlin a permit in the first place violated state law. 

Warren Triche, a former Louisiana Representative, who authored the state’s law that led to the ban on the private ownership of tigers, and two other residents were co-plaintiffs. 

“Today, the law was upheld in the state of Louisiana, which has explicit regulations designed to protect tigers like Tony,” said ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells. “It is an incredible victory for ALDF, the tens of thousands around the world who have supported this campaign, and most of all, for Tony. We eagerly look forward to the day that he leaves behind the noise and fumes of the Tiger Truck Stop for a new life of freedom that he has never known.”

The ALDF plans to work with the LDWF to find the best home for Tony and will make recommendations on sanctuaries where Tony can live out the rest of his days in an environment that can actually meet his needs. 

 

Related Stories: 

Lawsuit Filed to Free Truck Stop Tiger

Days Left to Help Save Truck Stop Tiger

Speak Up for a Big Cat: A Truck Stop is No Place for a Tiger!

 

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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bladeflyer


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1052 comments

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9:12AM PST on Nov 29, 2013

When will this poor tiger be released to a reputable sanctuary. Many think it has already happened but it hasn't. He is still there while the courts/lawyers play games re his freedom. Give Tony FREEDOM NOW!!!!

7:33AM PST on Nov 29, 2013

Gracias.

1:56AM PDT on Aug 31, 2012

Poor Tony, being pulled out of the only home he's ever known to go live with strangers where he won't get the care and attention he gets in his current home!

4:27PM PDT on Apr 16, 2012

I am voting for "Big Cat" as there are no other exotic animal sanctuary choices and any place has to be better than 11 years of loneliness at a diesel truck stop. As quickly as possible, other excellent sanctuaries should be checked out. Any idea of when this transfer will take place. Go, St. Francis!!!

1:38AM PDT on Apr 16, 2012

I've been to Big Cat Rescue and my previous veterinarian was one of their veterinarians until she retired and moved away. I've found BCR as good as any other animal sanctuaries. None of the animals were pacing and they all seemed to be in great health. They offer their animals a lot of enrichments. The "employees" are volunteers and I'm sure if any of us volunteered there we would have a limited knowledge of the facility and it's inhabitants unless we were zoologists. They have never had an "accidental death" like Busch Gardens and they do not breed their animals or allow them to breed like "Wild Things Rescue" in Dade City which uses allowing the public to interact and take pictures with baby animals in order to make money off of them. After I mistakenly visited them once, I got 2 or 3 calls over a short period of time, encouraging me to come see their baby whatever!

9:48AM PDT on Apr 9, 2012

The owner of Big Cat Rescue, who seems to be desperate to ‘acquire’ Tony is NOT doing it for compassion, PLEASE WATCH!
http://vimeo.com/15207406

The ALDF has told so many wicked lies - please unlock your mind and go to http://savetony.com

5:31AM PDT on Apr 7, 2012

Free at last! May your day be full of adventure after adventure. Run, jump, play till your hearts content in your new surroundings. May your stomach always be full and may you NEVER be caged again

4:49PM PST on Dec 4, 2011

What wonderful news! I had given up hope that he would ever be free.
Can't wait to hear how he will react to freedom.

4:33PM PDT on Sep 18, 2011

thanks

3:37PM PDT on Sep 14, 2011

Poor tiger , he needs abetter life and a better nice home to go to.

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