Sunday December 2, 2012, 10:38 am
After forwarding a petition about Tony the Truck Stop Tiger, I received some information I found very disconcerting, so I decided to do some checking.
"The story of Tony the truck stop tiger is controversial, seemingly interminable, and has evolved into something larger than the sum of its parts. What began as a conflict with concerned activists over the living situation of a single tiger kept on the premises of a service station has erupted into a massive controversy among exotic animal keepers and those that are against it. Even many who possess little interest in the divisive battle may have heard of the ‘plight’ of Tony the tiger’s confinement at the truck stop, and the stories of alleged welfare violations illicit a despondent reaction from most.
What makes this spotlighted story interesting is the attention it has garnered over the years. It would be easy to mistaken this situation as one of the most pressing and concerning violations of animal welfare still impending resolution. Is Tony’s care as abominable as it is so often made out to be, and would you have to be an ice-hearted, selfish, empathy-lacking reptile to support the position that the tiger should stay where he is? The answer is not as clear-cut as many would think.
Tony's Story: A Timeline of Conflict
For those who are unfamiliar with the twists and turns, the Tiger Truck Stop, based in Louisiana and owned by Michael Sandlin, has a history peppered with legal hassles and outcry from special interests groups, namely from advocates of the popular ‘sanctuary’ Big Cat Rescue and the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Along with these groups, violations from the USDA have also been issued to the facility in the past, but the seriousness of these citations are overwrought. Sandlin, who had previously based his exotic animal exhibiting truck stop in Texas, moved the facility to Louisiana in 1988.
Over the years Sandlin possessed and produced several tigers at the location. Breeding them occasionally, he also engaged in other now controversial practices such as selling them to ‘zoos’. Unfortunately for Sandlin in 1993, Iberville Parish passed an ordinance that outlawed the display of “wild” animals, and this was the cusp of his legal troubles in eventually losing his permit to keep Tony.
When an exotic animal ban came into effect for the entire state of Louisiana in 2007, permits for animals owned before 2006 were only issued to owners who possessed their animals legally, in which Sandlin had not done so due his to non-compliance with the parish’s previous ban. On November 17, 2008, Sandlin was ordered to find a new home for the animal outside of Louisiana.
Big Cat Rescue, already concerned with the facility’s past discrepancies, offered to take the tiger, but Sandlin wouldn’t budge. He filed a restraining order against Louisiana Wild Life and Fisheries to stop them from taking the cat, and attended the Iberville Parish to ask that the original 1993 law be amended so he could continue owning Tony. In the case, owner of Big Cat Rescue Carole Baskin and Sky Williamson also weighed in with their opinions of aversion for the tigers’ living conditions along with supporters and signed petitions.
So far, we understand here that Tony’s order for removal was never about inadequate conditions and gas fumes from trucks, but non-compliance with an earlier exotic animal ban that forced exhibitors to give up their animals if they weren’t “zoological parks, performing animal exhibitions, circuses or veterinary clinics” as outlined by the rule. In other words, Tony was not generating income by jumping through hoops of fire and did not qualify for such an exemption. This is one aspect of the issue that I feel is not really understood. Why were the anti-captivity opinions of Big Cat Rescue’s affiliates relevant in the case? Clearly, the ban that eventually led to the success of invaliding Sandlin’s permit was not one they would agree with in the least bit because of its circus and ‘performing animal’ exemption. It is well-known that Big Cat Rescue is against, and seeks to end, all big cat and wildlife captivity of any kind, from my privately owned genet to top of the line professional zoological institutions.
The Trouble with Big Cat Rescue
Is Big Cat Rescue a crusader for captive big cats, or may there be two sides to this story? Interesting information about BCR's founder Carole Baskin, and what may truly be at the heart of the sanctuary's politics."
Sunday December 2, 2012, 10:40 am
There are two sides to every story and this one has left me with mixed feelings. If Tony is removed from the only home and loving humans he has always known, he might die. Perhaps this is one time when we should leave things alone.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 10:42 am
Talk about a propaganda film. This is BS. No tiger should be kept in these conditions but should be placed in a tiger sanctuary with conditions more like those of it's natural habitat. I have no doubt that Tony's keepers love him...but it makes me SICK to see him stuck in that cage. His run is just a big lawn...no trees, nothing to stimulate him. It is well known that unqualified people should NOT own or keep a wild animal of any type, let alone a tiger of this magnitude. They keep him for PROFIT! Makes me sick and this POS film also makes me sick!
Sunday December 2, 2012, 10:54 am
Here is a link to the story of Christian, the Lion. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOLqVshIM4w
I'm sure you've all seen it but it clarifies my point. John and Ace rescued Christian from a cage in Harrods and they were his family...all he knew and dearly loved. But eventually they had to give him up...to do what was best for him... he needed to be in a lion reserve....where he flourished and actually had his own family. After 2 reunions, Christian finally severed all ties to John and Ace.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 11:18 am
We are not gullible. Tony does not belong in noise, truck fumes, & harsh lights. He will not die if he is moved to wonderful shelter for cats. His owners only exploit him for the business he brings in.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 11:19 am
With all due respect, Carrie - I'm seldom 100% right but I feel VERY deeply that Tony should be in a habitat that reflects his natural one. Like I said, I have no doubt that his owners love him. The point that remains is that he lives in a CAGE with a boring run the size of a small lawn. I doubt that anything I say will have any effect on the outcome...I suspect his owners will keep him where he is. That said, at least they DO love him. But let's just hope they don't breed another poor baby Tiger to REPLACE him, as they have done in the past. The success of their little store is based on the TIger and all the Tiger merchandise. Of course the film is going to be skewed towards the Tiger's owners - that was the purpose of making the film. Maybe your friend who knows the family is not 100% right either.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 11:28 am
True, all wild animals belong in the wild, but after 11 years in an environment that is larger than most tiger enclosures, I'm not sure how well Tony would do. He is not exposed to diesel fumes and harsh lights. I'm not trying to anger everyone, but I'm just not as convinced as I once was about Tony's living conditions. I have a great deal of respect for the honesty and integrity of my friend. Perhaps that is why I feel the way I do.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 11:34 am
Thanks for posting this. I have signed petitions before for this tiger. I believed that he was being kept in deplorable conditions. I mioght agreee that any keeping of such a cat as private propety might be a bad thing, however I do appreciate hearing "The Rest of the Story".
Sunday December 2, 2012, 11:38 am
One of the things that I appreciate is that Tony has not been declawed, but if he were sent elsewhere he would have to be. Haven't we all agreed that declawing of our house cats is a bad thing? How can it be acceptable for a tiger or lion?
Sunday December 2, 2012, 11:40 am
Carrie - I know what a good person you are and I understand where you are coming from. You also value your friends, as do I. And I know Tony may be in accomodations larger than most Tiger enclosures... but 2 wrongs do not make a right. And I didn't say he was exposed to fumes or harsh light. But, NO wild animal should be in this situation. Whether Tony would do well in a new habitat is a moot point since I'm sure he'll be staying where he is. But I'd bet he'd have a glorious time if he were moved to a natural habitat! I remember my Mom telling me even bad habits are hard to break...because it's all you know...all you are used to. Of course this is all Tony knows and, I repeat, I'm sure his owners are good people just trying to make a living! But they are doing it on Tony's back. The key will be to see what they do when Tony dies. I'd bet my life they will put another little Tiger cub in this same situation, just like in the past...unless they are prohibited from doing so!!!
Sunday December 2, 2012, 11:42 am
Thanks Carrie for posting both points of view on this situation and I agree with you that this could pose a problem with Tony. How ever if he were to be taken to a sanctuary and introduced slowly he might acclimate quite well and do well. Ether way it is a dilemma. Read and noted.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 11:51 am
Carrie - how do you know Tony would have to be declawed if he were sent to a sanctuary? I know there are sanctuaries which provide care and protection for big cats that have been declawed by FORMER owners. I've read nothing that states a regular sanctuary would declaw a big cat as a routine thing. I've researched it and couldn't find anything.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 12:21 pm
Lived in the south or 5 long monts - many good people but as anywhere - there are some that aren't - pray Tony isn't in a cage - but if he has enough room to run and is loved then that is different - I would have to be there to make a decision!
I have a good friend that runs a Big Cat sanctuary. He has been to visit Tony on many occasions, at least 3 times a year. (he still goes there) He offered to take Tony to his sanctuary, then after visiting many times he told me that he does not recommend that Tony be moved. There is a bond between the tiger and the owner, also he said that most of what we think we know about this situation is not factual. That Tony does have a large enclosure and his not harmed in any way. I have done research on this person and his sanctuary, how it is rated (among the top in world) and his qualifications for making this assessment, his background and education for his duties are remarkable. He does this job because of love for what he does not because he paid well, not in any way, is he paid what we would hope for one so dedicated to the welfare and well being of animals.
I'm not trying to change anyone's mind, each will believe as they feel they must. I now feel better about Tony's living conditions, because of this person. I have seen actual photos of Tony and where he really lives. This video is contrary to what many have come to believe about Tony. Though it is far closer to accurate than many stories.
I will also insert that of the many stories I read on Care2 when an animal is in danger and is close enough I could do something I call the shelter involved. The fact is that to date not one has been true or even close to accurate. That many animals are harmed by horrible abuse and mean stupid people is not a question in my mind, that some take half baked stories that are not double checked for accuracy is also not a question in my mind.
I know that few sanctuaries are good for the animals, he (my intentionally unnamed friend) does not allow visitors, does not bring in people for funding or to stare at the animals. (other than inspectors) Each have huge enclosures, and have a good life there or if they are young and can be moved to full freedom that is done. Most of his Big Cats come from closing zoos or the government has intervened in cases of poor treatment or abandoned animals.
In this case as in some others the propaganda is misinformation. In a perfect world there would be no wild beasts ever living in any enclosure, but it is not a perfect world. There are zoos and for many those zoos are the only opportunity for seeing animals, for those zoos that properly care for the animals they might be the last best hope of preserving some of these species.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 12:45 pm
A comprimise would be nice for Tony and his owner due to the length of their relationship. I believe his owner should keep him only if is living quarters are modified.
Years ago, zoos kept lions, tigers, etc. in much smaller areas than Tony's area.
Tony has spent HALF of is life with his owner, please figure out a comprimise that is BEST for TONY and his owner.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 12:45 pm
Thank you Kit. I appreciate your comment, especially since you know someone who is an authority who has actually visited Tony. Of course, it would be better if all Big Cats were in the wild as nature intended, but knowing that there are some in captivity being well cared for is a good thing indeed.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 1:23 pm
Oh my god. I could not finish viewing this propaganda on youtube the first time, nor can I today. Who falls for this? We can see with our own eyes that Tony is on concrete by a freeway, confined! Tigers need tigers as company, not selfish man who is using him, keeping him in solitary, unnatural setting, for PROFIT. SEND TONY TO A SANCTUARY. Get him away from that horrible situation.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 1:29 pm
Carrie, one youtube video made as propaganda does no qualify as "research". I noticed this link long before you linked it. How can you fall for such a propaganda youtube video, that visually demonatrates the isolation and plight and usage of Tony for the owner's profit while a professional nrrator glosses over the evidence with a smooth monlogue? Get Tony to FREEDOM. I can see with my own eyes that this sentient being needs enlightened humans on his side to rescue him from imprisonment. This is against Nature. No animal has ever been confined in nature. Only ignorant people do such heinous things.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 1:35 pm
Yes, Carrie, I did read some of the comments. I see with my own eyes the video footage and conclude that Tony is in captivity and to waste a sacred lifetime there is unacceptable. If others view his horrific life in captivity there and find it acceptable, then, I feel that there perception is clouded by a lack of spiritual experience about the purpose of life here.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 1:53 pm
UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Carrie, I was and still am a Big Cat Cause and the Big Cat Rescue is one the most fabulous rescues there is. I can't believe you did this. I was and am a HUGE big cant advocate. This was my cause, I took on the wolf cause because I was blessed enough to actually be living in it. And not many people can say that. But I am sorry, you have attacked one of my causes and Tony the tiger is loved by the guy who has him. But he really does not have an ideal place, and the owner has been asked a million times to fix his place up, so if he really loved him, he should do that! make it better without concrete... so NOW I AM DONE with this picking on BIG CAT AND BIG CAT PEOPLE ...
Sunday December 2, 2012, 1:59 pm
For those who did watch the video..and that have now started to read this comment..please finish it all or stop now, Sure you can leave a comment without watching the video or reading mine or any other comments before leaving one but it is my hope that comments will be based on the video or other facts and not just a standard blanket animal concern cause type of one. Serioius thoughts are what are needed in individual cases..which Tonys is. Of course anyone can leave whatever comment they want, with or without reading the comments or watching the video...and.....Yes this comment is a long one...but ....It's the life of a somewhat rare tiger we are talking about here.
I think all animal lovers, not just activist want what's best for our animal kingdom..in the wild or in captivity isn't it. That can not be done without details/facts about each case/situation in my opinion.
Chris, first off.....it is not propaganda. Much of what is being said by those wanting him to be taken away from his home...well much of that is. The legal battles alone...for this long...should tell everyone that there is indeed two sides to this story.
A big fact Chris is ....you can not compare the lives of lions to that of tigers or to those of most other big cats . Lions live in 'prides'...Tigers are loners [except to breed of course] when in the wild. One must know facts about each big cat spices if to judge their care properly ..or so I beleive. That is a number one fact to keep in mind when talking about any 'big cat'...but it's not uncommon for people to not know that fact and there is where much of the problem in Tony's case comes from. Too many misinformed/those without facts making a call as to his future unfortunately. Just the reality of things when it comes to people and the vast number of animals and facts about them all that are there ...if one will only take the time to learn about them, once they realize their thoughts were based on misinformation'/assumptions...as in lions and tigers being much the same in the wild as well as in captivity..which they're aren't.
That's all that's being asked here I think. Take facts into account beyond myth and or assumptions....as they are provided...thats the best any of us can do. That is what this thread is all about. Removing fiction/assumptions and misinformation and replacing them with facts , about 'tigers' in general and about Tony and his life to date in particular.
Think with the facts and logic in mind ...not go with the sheeple as it's said in political circiles. When doubt has been presented...do the smart thing ...learn the facts from ..all sides,that of tigers in general in this case first off, before making a decision...just as we should all do before voting in elections , is my suggestion to everyone.
I don't think most of us believe that wild animals should be kept in confiments but the reality is they are...in zoo's , in santuaries, in private habitates such as that of Tony's. When a tiger is in the wild, unlike lions who live in 'prides'...tigers are loners ,except for breeding purposes of course as I mentioned above. If raised with other family tiger members in captivity they can do ok but if put with/near tigers not familiar to them...is not a healthy thing for them.. then to add their being seperated from humans who raised and cared for them...taken away at the age of one the age of Tony now....well they can become so stressed/depressed that they can and have died when it has happend. That is a fact number one to be considered in Tonys case I think. Just think about domestic cats...which I believe many of us believe that they have emotions..same for big cats..be they in the wild or in captivity...but especially those who have been raised by emotional humans etc. Tony is not one of a large selection of big cats as those in zoos/reserves/santuaries but one that has been accustomed to individual attention/care by the same people for his entire life.
The hyped 'cage' word does not apply to Tony. His habitate is nicer...ac/heat...yard for exercise...a roof top where he can 'suvey/observe' his surroundings...daily personalized/individual maintenance and attention..best of veterinarian care,food etc. Much more so than many smaller zoos/reserves/santuaries.
The age of exotic animals in the hands of private persons is coming to an end..and rightfully so. Even Mr. Sandlin is aware of that and has no plans for future tigers of his own, though he has been around them since his birth as his father was the first in their family to have tigers. That's really the only reason Tony is there today...The fact that counts is that he will be the last one that the family will ever own...and for all the right reasons..not just the changing laws. That's their reality as well as Tonys.
The real concern here is the well being of Tony at his age, not what others 'think' he needs...but what experts say he does. Removing him from his long time 'home' to an actual 'cage' like those at the Big Cat Rescue with unfamiliar surrounds/people/other big cats...well that's abuse and a huge risk in mine and that of many tiger experts... opinions.
I know there are two sides to this story and that the majority just want to think...~ 'cage' ..'truck stop'...take him away~..which is a natural knee jerk reaction for most I think. But once one takes in all the information/facts about Tony...those who started trying to take him away and why... and on an on, for the many years that this has been going on...there has to be more than the one side to this non 'cage' story or else this would not have been going through court after court and on and on for the time that it has.
Money...donations.... for activist groups are at stake here also..another factor to think about. Tony is a 'post tiger' for them, so ta say. Lots to this Chris,and others, that goes beyond that hyped word 'cage' an 'truck stop'..The San Diego zoo has some of the worst air pollution [freeway downtown location] that a animal can be exposed to so the truck factor is really min, at best ...the truck stop is out in the middle of no where, not in the middle of a metro area like many zoos are actually.
As for the profits from 'displaying' Tony, as the activist like to refer to his living quaters as ...well it cost a whole lot more to keep Tony than that which can be made from the few who go out of their way to stop at the truck stop just to see Tony. Truckers who ...are the bread and butterof this mom/pop business who stop for gasoline and to eat..regardless of Tony are where they make their profits, not from the family in the car who stop for pictures and a soda and chips. His habitate,daily care,vet , food and so forth are far more costly than most would think. Sure Tony is an visusal addition to those who do stop and get gas or eat there but that's it. Tony has never been trained to do 'tricks' at the crack of a whip or has he been forced to travel year in, year out in an actual small circus type cage etc.
Tony loves the attention....*the activity*.....his family....etc...and has never known anything different than the domestic life he has. Take all that away...helping him ..?.....I think not but we all have feel differently about animals I suspose, be they wild or domestic ..but sometimes a story is not cookie cut'er classic tale or black or white as to the facts. This is one of those.
Wild animals who have always been in captivity does play into these type of situations....Facts are... Tony WIll Never Be Free...not out of confindments...It's just which habitate will be his home for the remainder of his life. One of stress or one of a life long familiarity ? One of concrete with no real grass/dirt beneith his feet nor real trees or where he is. He can never 'run free'....he has never had to defend himself against preditors...not that of other big cats especially nor any other wild creature. He has never had to find/kill his own food. They do not just take a tiger his age and turn him free in some 'natural resurve'...that's a fairly book concept...That is not what will happen to him... mainly for all the reasons I've just listed plus others to many to mention.
This really isn't about what I want for him...or activities wants..nor about anyone without all the facts want...but what Tony needs/deserves...All that can vary in ..opinions ...obviously. Facts,what experts have to say, are the only way to judge this properly, in my opinion. The facts do point to leaving him with his family and where he has never been abused..only cared for. Not to risk his life by removing him due to being a 'poster tiger' for any one activist organization of which...none are perfect...just as no man made habitate is perfect for a wild animal.
I too believe that everyone should take the time to find out the facts about Tony...which Carrie is suggesting [nothing more] also..To take a close look at all sides of this one story. Not to agree with what I am saying but what the long term facts of this one tiger are before passing a very possible death sentence on to Tony by supporting his removal from his home/family...and the risk involved in doing so. We're not talking about a staving , beaten dog/cat/horse etc. here. This is about a well loved and cared for animal..out of his natural elements for his entire life to date , which will always be the case for him...Now it really is down to just who will ...own him from now on... as well as where and what cage/habitate he will live out his days in...To take in the facts/risk for Tony into account or not...that is the only other question to ask yourelves I think.
This should not be about activist and their needing donations ..nor about like or dislike of Mr. Sandlin and or his truck stop...it's about Tony and his well being. Once one knows the 'facts' about Tigers for starters...his age ...and his present life along with the risk of removing him...I really can't see a true animal lover wanting that for Tony at his age. Dislike for the owner, support of the activist....fine...but that is not the way to decide Tony's fate in my opinion. Facts about Tigers and his present life are what are. Just my opinion of course.
Fortunately the future of those in captivity today will not be what those of the future will face. Laws are being changed on a Fed. level when it comes to wild/exotic animals ...be they in commercial or individual care. The end of an era has come. It's now how to best care for those remaining in question...zoo's/santuaries/private individuals.
Thanks to Carrie for simply asking others to give real close attention to the 'whole ' story about Tony. Two sides. Three very different realities actually........that of Tony's.... that of those signing petitions without all facts/sides of the story being known to them....and or that of the activist group who operate on donations via poster animals and their stories. A tough call, but take into account the facts/the risk in removing him...and pass on signing petitions unless you can guarantee that the risk in doing so will not take Tony's life from him....is all I'm suggesting.
Individual circumstances/conditions/history..not a grouped blanketed wild animal knee jerk judgement call ,is what Tony needs..deserves... in his best interest, in my opinion. .and for me that means leave him at home..where he currently is and has been for all of his life. Every case is different and that's why facts about tigers in captivity/wild and their lives to date of activist attention are what must be taken into account or so I beleive for any animals sakes.
I know much of what I said is not going to be popular with many but my saying what's popular isn't as important to me as what I believe to be in the best interest of Tony to be. No hurt feelings if we can just agree to disagree when leaving comments..ok :-). We all love animals or else we wouldn't have even come to this thread..right?
Sunday December 2, 2012, 2:26 pm
Thank you Jae, for the very insightful comment. I really appreciate since I was just accused of hating animal activists in a personal message from one of my "friends". Anyone who knows me, knows my love for all animals and my efforts to help them. That makes me an animal activist too, so no I don't hate them.
I, like you don't expect everyone to agree with me, but to honestly determine the truth without prejudice and information from only one side of the issue. It is sad to think of any wild animal living in captivity, but Tony has a much better life than many. Being loved, well cared for and bonded to a family is not a bad life.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 3:00 pm
I think there are a lot of people here who really don't want both sides of the story, who want to hear only that which supports their preconceived notions. I did not watch the video, but having read Kit's comment regarding her friend who actually knows what is going on and thinks Tony should not be moved, I know where I stand on the issue.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 3:29 pm
It is one thing to believe Tony should not be moved- it is quite another to say that Big Cat Sanctuary would declaw him, as one of the reasons for him going there. That is a FLAT OUT LIE, and MISINFORMATION.
Apparently, you do not know the difference between an Accredited Sanctuary- and a Truck-Stop Roadside Gimmick, used to sell gasoline.
There isn't a damn thing "natural" about a tiger living in a cage, being forced to inhale diesel truck fumes day in and day out while lying on a cement floor. It might be best for Sandllin, but it certainly isn't what is best for Tony, or any wild animal.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 3:38 pm
Noted. Thank you Carrie. This such a controversial issue of where Tony would be better off. I am happy to know that there is someone who has checked up on Tony several times, and in his opinion Tony is better off where he is. I live in Canada, we have a situation with an elephant named Lucy, where people (one being Bob Barker). who want Lucy moved from the zoo that she is in to a sanctuary in the US. The major problem is that according to several vets, Lucy would not last the trip. She is being well taken care of also. I know that when Lucy's time comes that she will never be replaced with another elephant.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 3:38 pm
Life at the truck stop is harmful to an animal with such sensitive hearing and acute sense of smell, says veterinarian Jennifer Conrad, who has cared for captive large cats for nearly two decades. After visiting Tony, she declared he is “in poor condition and needs intervention on his behalf.” In addition to exposure to noise and diesel fumes, Tony is taunted by truck stop visitors. His enclosure lacks adequate enrichment. He has no pool of water to cool off in the blazing heat of the summer. As a result of this stressful confinement, Tony constantly paces in his enclosure, putting him at risk for dangerous and painful veterinary conditions.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 4:05 pm
Tony is not exposed to fumes and from what I understand is not taunted by visitors except those pointed out in the video. He also has a pool, toys, and shade in the summer.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 4:08 pm
Nyack, you are right on. I really find it difficult to believe that anyone here condones Tony being kept i that prison. Praising Sandin for breeding and confining tigers instead of condemning him is unreal. Legally, Big Cats must word things in certain ways in order to gain freedoms for captive animals, so Carrie choosing to isolate phrasing is moot. As for this so-called _Bonding" with a clearly ignorant and selfish profiteer, I have a question to put forth. Does TONY HAVE A CHOICE? He has never been given any other option other than to be fed by and confined by this loathsome man! Look at the other activities this creep participates in...not in any way concerned for sentient beings as he cooks them up and eats too many of them, judging by his girth of for the impact his choices have on Sacred Earth Mother and the elements impacted by such a gluttonous way of living. Where are those who seek enlightenment? There are far too few! No one who is on the path to enlightenment ever harms any sentient beings, and if they can not HELP them, they at least do not interfere with their life paths. This man is one among billions who is so full of the false notion that he is ENTITLED to do whatever he sees fit in his ignorance to do, as the dominant species. Allow Tony the Tiger to be in free habitat and see if he will choose for himself to ever be confined and have only that odious man in his life again. Sorry that the Romans murdered all of those who were pacifists and vegetarians so that sacrifice of animals could continue and the Truth be concealed, but, Carrie, if you really want to research, do so on Essenes Carmel, Therapeutae, Gnostics, and read the history of how Jesus and John the Baptist were murdered when they protested the Priests and Rabbis taking up the invading Roman's ways and sacrificing in the temples, eating flesh, which is against Jewish law. We can see so easily that all Men and Women on the Path have all been strict vegetarians and always WARN US VEHEMENTLY never to interfere negatively with the Natural ways of sentient life. Ans Jae, there are Sanctuaries where tigers interact with each other, and must at least have the interaction of at least finding mates, even if that is all they choose to seek. Tigers MUST HAVE PLENTY OF SPACE in a natural setting.
I am so disappointed that 2 Care 2 members here condone the ongoing captivity of this Sacred Being. How would you like to be born under the control of that man, and never be allowed any freedom or natural habitat? I myself would never wish to be within sight of such a person, as he represents and displays the lowest of the low.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 4:15 pm
Ignoring the facts of Tony's good life does not change the fact that he is healthy, apparently happy, loved and cared for as much as or more than many in sanctuaries, nor does it change the fact that he would certainly have been better off being born in the wild and living his life in the wild. That is not the case, so he should be left where he is.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 4:23 pm
By the way, being hateful toward me and calling his owner names serves no useful purpose other than to allow you to vent your anger. If Tony's owner had at any time ever mistreated him, Tony could have and probably would have made short work of him. The fact that some may dislike Tony's owner because of his girth and the fact that he is not a vegan is a little silly.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 4:40 pm
His habitate has both heating and ...air conditioning. Activist did taught him to get pictures showing him being agitated a couple of years ago..in order to also get him to 'pace' for their pictures so that did indeed take place.
Other vets, encluding his present local one, as well as others who specialize in big cats have declaired his health to be fine . Hyped words nor pictures that are not that are not of his current habitate do nothing for Tony..but perhaps they do help the activist,or so I'm guessing. He does not live in a tiny cage ,for certain not like the one as shown on a site where I found the 'article about Jennifer'..the site where you can also click to donate to their organization . Why not go with real pictures of his entire habitate... is what I am wondering....in$tead of those $hown on that site.
With the number of eyes on Tony for as long as the activist have had them on him, no way are the condtions what they want people to believe they are..otherwise he'd been gone a long time ago. Logic helps along with the current facts about Tony in my opinion. Ever heard of walking for exercise ? Tigers and other animals in confindments do the same as people when it comes to that..but the word 'pace' is more dramatic isn't it. He plays with his 'toys' in the yard as well as sits atop his house to observe people and his surroundings as any animal in captivity might do. Tony does like to play in a water hose stream which he gets to do reg. also.
That ..."used to sell gasoline"...is the lie ...which can , I think obviously so , only be made by those who do not know the cost of keeping a tiger...especially the cost for a small independent family owned truck stop..not a large chain... for starters..nor do they know the facts that truckers make stops when they need fuel..it's location that counts not the so called attractions. They also want to eat while their trucks are being refueled ..to save time. They aren't going to stop to view attractions or go out of their way period for such. They are working, not out sight seeing..and time is big money to truckers. The 'lookers' who are there just to see Tony are family and or individuals visiters who are traveling who stop for pictures,a soda and go on their way. Not much profit in that as I've mentioned above.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 4:52 pm
Jae. Here are some links proving that tigers play and love freedom, space, nature, the opportunity to roam freely, swim, and get out of their cages. They play with other tigers and lions, too. Also included is a youtube video to contrast the grim existence o Tony in his ugly cage living under ugly control.
Around 15,000 tigers are being kept in private homes in the U.S., according to the Wild Animal Sanctuary. Tigers raised in captivity do not have the skills to re-enter the wild.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 5:06 pm
Beautiful Yvette. Unfortunately all sanctuaries are not like this, and it has been determined that because of his age and attachment to his present life, Tony would not thrive in a sanctuary. This is not my determination or your determination, but ones made by those who know far more than either of us about Tony and his life.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 5:13 pm
Then there is the little ting about Jennifer .."after visiting'...which seems to be a tad off mark as the information about her I read states .." "Based on what I have observed of Tony's 'enclosure' at the Tiger Truck Stop and his behavior *from video and photographs*..Hummm...seems a bit of a stretch as to her being there. That was also an old article so maybe she has since been there ?
Tony's 'sanitary conditions are as good as that of any creditable zoo. His habitate is maintained daily..as needed ! Washed/sanitized from top to bottom and so forth. The last I saw Tony he had a wading pool but I am not sure about his still having one or not. I'll see what I can find out about that and pass that on whichever the case is. But I do know that he does enjoy and gets to play in the stream of water from a hose reg....regardless of a pool or not. That is what he really enjoys the most when it comes to water..other than for drinking of course. Which is also bath time for him :-).
Tigers in the wild need ...space.... in order to track their prey/food and then to find water as they travel in doing so. Logic ...it helps to use some along with facts in these discussions I think.
Yes, tigers can adapt to other tigers...it's just a matter ..for some how long that takes can be the difference between life and death for them.It's a matter if and or they make it past their depression and the stress due to such drastic changes as it would be for one raised as Tony has been. Bonded to one family for his entire life..individual attention etc.
Look at the whole picture in each case..not just the general over all wild life tv documentry blanket stories, so to say. Many big cats that go to santuaries have been whip'/beaten, kept in tiny cages/made to do tricks etc...so a change for them was easier to make perhaps but in the case of Tony, none of those things happened to him. Time for him to adjust even if he could..and that could take months if not years, just may not be there for one his age..not ne with the most certain depression / stress that he will have upon being taken away.
Love/concern with facts and the use of logic...a nice combo when an animals welfare is at stake...IMO. Leave the hype and tactics of mi$information , carefully cho$en pictures for the poltical threads I say...they have no place when an animals future is a stake ....in my opinion.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 5:17 pm
So, if you see my post...disregard if you like of course. I ahd several folks ask for the post. I'm probably (and have thought in the past) leaning toward comfort which does not mean something new for an older animal...
Sunday December 2, 2012, 5:21 pm
http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/ Carrie,are you somehow dismissing even these links photos videos that prove that tigers rescued from even worse conditions adapt and enjoy their new lives in sanctuaries? What is you reasoning on this? why on earth do you claim that others know more about how Tony would or would not thrive if placed in a more natural world? RESCUERS KNOW THAT ALL ANIMALS THEY BRING INTO MORE NATURAL AND LOVING SITUATIONS THRIVE. He clearly is not thriving there, and any living creature will adapt to better living conditions. GIVE TONY THE CHANCE TO ADAPT to an open and free life and see the proof, then tell me what you are telling me now. No one will know unless HE IS GIVEN THE FREEDOM TO BEGIN WITH. Ignorance is so vile, so destructive to so many lives. Tons life is being taken away fro him! Anyone can see that there is nothing natural or desirable about the life he is forced into living now. You can not be more wrong and I am shocked at both yours and Jae's bizarre conclusions when the evidence is so strong that Tony has done nothing to deserve to be kept under such debilitating conditions. THIS IS NOT A LIFE of any value whatsoever HOW DARE any man decide that fate of a a grand being as this jerk is doing? Any sanctuary would provide far more quality of life and right to FREEDOM than this. What is it that you and Jae are seeing that is so opposite from acknowledging the depravity of Tony's captivity?
Sunday December 2, 2012, 5:26 pm
Not that it matters as to Tony, Yvette T. ...but I/we have personal hands on experience with tigers. So I do know a bit about them...In fact I'll go so far as to say...probably more than the average person who might be reading these comments does or who has seen videos of them. I [we] have cared for one..... and all that is involved in doing so...which is a bit more up close and personal than watching a video or reading an article goes I think. I've been around and interested..learning about them in the wild as well as in captivity for most of my adult life...but thanks for the links all the same.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 5:34 pm
Yvette T...as to your comment about those being abused that are in santuaries adjusting..I covered a thought on that in one of mine also....they would be happier to be taken away from abuse than one who has lived in a happy,well maintained enviorment don't you think ? It's like children in a sense who have been taken away from abusers..sad at first due to the unknow but happy to no longer be subject to abuse. Take a happy , not abused child away..and well in my thinking the odds are they might one day adjust but odds are it will take a long long time for them to be truely be happy again. As with a child, will their health be at risk if taken away from what they believe to be a happy home...without understanding as to any reasons as to why for starters ? I mean , take the whole picture here ..not just run with key words and what might sound logical to some without their having other input as to facts.....
Sunday December 2, 2012, 6:09 pm
I liken the human condition in general as well as the limited existence without option of Tony, to the Allegory of the Cave. How anyone can see Tony's abject captivity as being in any way positive is shocking. Plato has a story of people being shackled inside of a cave with their backs to a fire, seeing shadows and assuming that this is the extent of reality. When one leaves and see the LIGHT and the Sun and the expansive world, one realizes the limited perceptions and existence he was allowed prior to freedom. When he returns to the cave, no one can believe him, and they not only refuse to leave the cave themselves to see the Light, the boundless realms, they threaten the enlightened man for lying and disturbing their beliefs.
ow, men are like this, definitely. (See Socrates commentary to follow) However, any human or animal in confinement has the instinctual inner knowledge that they are not fulfilling their lives and are lacking freedom and ability to pursue their drives. Tony is in this predicament. If he is moved to a better place, he will have an actual life to live.
Socrates remarks that this allegory can be taken with what was said before, namely the metaphor of the Sun, and the divided line. In particular, he likens
"the region revealed through sight"—the ordinary objects we see around us—"to the prison home, and the light of the fire in it to the power of the Sun. And in applying the going up and the seeing of what's above to the soul's journey to the intelligible place, you not mistake my expectation, since you desire to hear it. A god doubtless knows if it happens to be true. At all events, this is the way the phenomena look to me: in the region of the knowable the last thing to be seen, and that with considerable effort, is the idea of good; but once seen, it must be concluded that this is indeed the cause for all things of all that is right and beautiful—in the visible realm it gives birth to light and its sovereign; in the intelligible realm, itself sovereign, it provided truth and intelligence—and that the man who is going to act prudently in private or in public must see you it"
After "returning from divine contemplations to human evils", a man "is graceless and looks quite ridiculous when—with his sight still dim and before he has gotten sufficiently accustomed to the surrounding darkness—he is compelled in courtrooms or elsewhere to contend about the shadows of justice or the representations of which they are the shadows, and to dispute about the way these things are understood by men who have never seen justice itself?
Sunday December 2, 2012, 6:42 pm
You are missing you own origional points Yvette. First off no one is saying that in anyway Tony's situation is positive. We are saying that the alternative..that of being removed form what Tony views as a happy and positive home..is what can, and would most likely happy...be of serious health risk for him. To put the words of others as if you hadn't even read them is beyond my understanding if understanding is your point .....
Yvette..there are links to better understanding of Tony and his 'situation' than those you just listed. That's like the Dem.s and the Repubs posting links to their choices. Facts about happy,loved and cared for tigers ..and what can happen to those who are taken away ..That .is what is needed in order to understand the 'whole picture'. Not anyones ..one sided article or thread. Logic..along with facts on a case by case... individual bases...and from all sides. Well...for me, that method beats even preset political tactics on political threads ....which are also appearing on this one IMO.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 6:44 pm
Geez, Louise!!!! I think that Jae and Carrie have said about all that can be said on this subject but I would like to know where Yvette gets it that there was some Jewish law against eating meat. There was, but only certain things such as animals with cloven hooves and fish without scales. Then later jesus told Peter that the laws had been changed and all animals and plants were given to man for his use and benefit. Therefore, that being said I think Tony should be left with the family that he is attached to.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 6:55 pm
Kay, you are reading all of the edits that came AFTER Jesus was murdered, and after some in Judeah decided to break Jewish Law, eat meat and so altered the original teachings. The origins of all religions save Islam began with vegetarian and no harm, non-interference rules. Please read the history. The sort of control that Tony is under is immoral. Why, Jae, as=re you stating that Toy is Happy? WHAT? Did you at least see the images of obviously HAPPY tigers hanging out together and videos of them playing together in real sanctuaries so that you can admit that they are not "LONERS"? Tony is not happy and has nothing valuable in his life. Let him live like those tigers I providing such CONTRASTING imagery and evidence of in the links. There is NO CAPARISON. How can you deny the major distinctions in the quality of the two types of lives? Get Tony away from that horrible man.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 6:58 pm
Jae, how can you say that there is any sort of "health risk" should Tony be moved to a more natural and happier place to live? What exactly would possibly harm him? He is in solitary confinement in a concrete slab, fenced inside of a too-small enclosure, having no life experience other than being fed by an ignorant, selfish slob! Tony deserve to live an actual life.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 7:02 pm
.correction..."and would most likely *happen* ...not happy as typed.
Yvette..as for your last links...others of us could provide opposite opinions..such as the link that this thread leads to... to those and probably in abundence . I know I had a large collection of such links/articles at one time, that said much the opposite of those posted on care2 in the past when it came to threads about those wanting to take Tony away from his home.
Updated information/facts/pictures/videos work best for many of us...old,outdated,even wrong info and misleading photos don't. Jussssss say'n.
FYI ..there are members of care2, other than activist, that have been to see Tony as well as those of us who are more than a little familiar with their care than others,so I'd say ...listen to all sides..then decide for oneself as to wanting Tony removed from his current.... what he obviously sees as his happy home and a family who has cared and loved him for all his life. ..Each of those being facts..not a tactic in wording.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 7:18 pm
Just think, if we bottled all this energy up and used it on 20 causes, we might save 20 animals, WOW! what a change we could have made, but no, we wasted it on fighting. I would say KUDO's, but I don't think that is the right word
Sunday December 2, 2012, 7:25 pm
Yvette, I am not dismissive of your posts about Tony, but I do wonder how your forays into religion and personal philosophy are relevant. I am only interested in those organizations which claim to want to help him, but are actually trying to harm him, and are using him more than his owner ever has. Why do you dismiss all authorities who have actually spent time with him and continue to do so? Why do you dismiss Jae who actually knows much more than you or I?
Sunday December 2, 2012, 7:37 pm
THank You Krystal R. for being that point to light...I'm not sure what post are on the thread links Yvette provided but there are those that appeared on care2 on the topic of taking Tony away where I also made that very point. That is another reason I question the reasoning behind those wanting to take Tony away...for years now...having lost in courts more than once at that.
To say that there's ...'More to this story than what those wanting Tony taken from his family and home than many realize or really don't want to know ' ...would be an understatement I think.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 8:09 pm
Like some of you I had made up my mind about Tony years ago, and signed each and every petition to take him away from us owner. I am sorry I did that. After being informed by a friend that I might possibly not know all the facts, I did my own research and changed my mind. I learned a valuable lesson. Reading a petition is not enough. Nor is looking at unpleasant videos and photos. From now on I will not sign a petition without doing my homework.
It is obvious we all love animals and want what is best for them, but rushing to judgment is wrong when animal lives are at stake.
Sunday December 2, 2012, 8:48 pm
Thanks Jae for all your reporting also.
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Sunday December 2, 2012, 9:54 pm
Thanks, Jae and Carrie for your thoughtful posts. Too often we have a knee jerk reaction to any story that we think involves animal cruelty. I think Tony probably would not survive very long if he were taken from the people he has known and loved. I know domestic cats and tigers are totally different, but I only have domestic cats to compare. I rescued a ten year old female last year who had been the only cat in her household before being abandoned. I have had her 18 months and she is still holed up in my guest room and will not associate with the other cats. I finally closed the door and provided her a room of her own and she was happy. I think Tony would feel the same way if he were thrust into the company of other tigers at this stage of his life.
Monday December 3, 2012, 12:01 am
Yvette, had you read my other comments along with those of others, you would have known that the answer to your above question had already been covered. It's unfortunate that you have no idea what the risk to his health might be or why...before taking the stand that you have taken on his being removed from his home/family. That does however prove the point that there are those that the facts,much less the whole story, really don't matter..even when available;and that for some it's only their knee jerk reaction that does. As I said in another comment above, it's not uncommon for people to do, so it's nothing you are alone in having done Yvette but please... read the comments to save yourself and others time if nothing more, before you comment on things that have already been covered/answered/etc.
What you do with that info in them Yvette, is up to you of course. At least you will have also read more of the whole story..along with learning more facts about tigers in general once you have. That is if you care enough to know more of course. I'm persnally not sure you do , otherwise you wouldn't have called the clip ..propaganda. It simply shows the real habitat and Tony as he is currently ,alone with other relative information about his home and care. What this video does show is not the image that these particular activist want others to have when it comes to his habitat, for whatever their 'reasons ' might really be. Not an opinion piece nor a photo shop picture or anything of that nature...just an up close look at Tony's real grounds/habitat/home..
Nyack Clancy..It has been a while since I last viewed the video clip so I had forgotten that the video not only shows that Tony has a lot of 'space' to roam freely in......but that he does have the 'pool' to play or lay in... whenever he wants. Sorry I didn't recall that and that you didn't watch the video in order to know these things also before leaving your misinformed , in my opinion, comment.
My thanks to all who have or will be taking the time to read the comments as well as view the video clip ..Your doing so does show that there are those who want the 'whole story' and from there they can decide if they want to sign a petition to take Tony away or not, .which is what prompted this thread as I understand it. One that a link to the petition site to take Tony away.. is currently being passed via care2 personal messages from friend to friend instead of a a topic thread as usual...which I have no idea as to why that is the way it's being done, this time, instead of posting the link to it on a thread of it's own. Perhaps no feed back was wanted ..just signatures without people having important facts nor to have the opportunity to know more about the story before doing so ?? I really don't know but at least this thread has given people who want to know more about the whole story and the facts.. to have them...not just from the one side wanting their signatures without knowing more from all sides etc. .So once again Carrie..thank you for providing this thread.
Monday December 3, 2012, 12:07 am
Thank you to all those who have an open mind and truly care about Tony. Jae, it is nice to know that thee are others out there who know about tigers and are willing to share their knowledge and not jump to conclusions. Bless you.
Monday December 3, 2012, 12:15 am
I suspect that your name calling of Mr Sandlin is based souly on you ignorance about him personally Yvette. First off,he is a devout Christian...one who is an active member within his church as well as it's choir . For you to pass such 'judgement' has me questioning your religious status actually. Such uncalled for...personal judgement of a man that you really know nothing about, other than he owns the truck stop and Tony..well to me that is not the usual for what I think of a Christian as doing,that's for sure.
Monday December 3, 2012, 12:18 am
Thanks Carrie for posting this article about the tiger & for your comments, and also particular thanks to Jae & Kit for their contributions. Some interesting, and passionate, comments in this thread. I appreciate both points of view, and those in between, and if nothing else, this issue shows that there is nearly always more than one side to virtually any question or issue. Life is always a matter of choices & often these choices are not clear cut, often there is no 'best' solution or answer. Maybe least worst is what we have to accept. Certainly we should always strive for the best, but being practical that is frequently unavailable, so really it often has to be best possible/least worst. Which then brings us to the next point, best, or worst, for whom? Most people tend to look at issues purely from our point of view, even though most of the time much of 'our point of view' is based purely on assumptions and solely on our own experiences. That experience might, or might not, actually be relevant to a particular issue. Whilst tigers, like most animals, indeed most living things, do have a 'language' of some sort, it rarely translates well across species. But, whilst 'Tony the Tiger' cannot speak to us to tell us his views, we can look at body language, which we can at least slightly understand, and should base any decisions that we might take, on what his body language is saying rather than base our decisions on what any of us think, however passionate we might be.
Monday December 3, 2012, 12:48 am
Jae deserves many green stars for his diligence and many comments on this thread. Unfortunately, all I can say is thank you to someone who is obviously much more knowledgeable than most of us here. That seems to matter little to those who refuse to face reality and consider the truth of the situation of our much loved Tony.
Sometimes those organizations who claim to be be "helping" our wonderful animals are only using them for personal profit. PLEASE consider that possibility about Tony. It is not new or unusual, especially for some groups like PETA and many others.
Monday December 3, 2012, 1:10 am
Noted, with great interest, and concern for Tony...There's great comments and arguments for both sides of this issue...I had thought one way, now I have lots of information that maybe my original thoughts might be wrong, so now I have to rethink, my original opinion...Bottom line though, I want, as I think everyone here does, what's best for Tony...
Monday December 3, 2012, 1:41 am
Yvette...I did not say that tigers could not play or hang together...I did say that 'in the wild' they are loners ...unlike lions who do travel/live in prides...which are facts. I also later said that they can get along, given time, in captivity.
I did bring religion back into the discussion after your bringing it into it earlier, for whatever reason...I did also point out 'Christianity ' in particular, not knowing in reality as to what religion you place your faith ..only that Mr. Sandlin's is that of the Christian faith..[Pentecostal ].... and that what you said about him personally,in my opinion, didn't sound like a very Christian thing to say about someone you don't really know much about..[regardless of what your religious choice is].
Excellent point [s] Arthur. Another good reason for people to watch the clip and to observe Tony's body language for themselves...when he is just walking/laying by himself... as well as when near Mr. Sandlin.
Carrie...Sadly what your last paragraph above...Monday December 3, 2012, 12:48 am..states... is all too true but a good reason for all to have as many facts about the various 'cases'/'causes' that are available before making serious decisions when it comes to the welfare of animals..domestic and those 'from or in the wild'.
Someone did mention that the future for many tigers might be that captivity... will be their only means for survival..which is also a fact . Their natural habitats are disappearing at an all too fast a pace for that to not possibly be a reality in the future. The reality of ...'for their survival as species', might well be the 'possitive' when it comes to wild animals in captivity in the all to near future. It's just how it is...their reality...no matter how differently we each might wish it to be for tigers as well as others in our animal kingdom. Humans probably can't undo the damage done to their natural habitats at this point in time but they can help make positive choices for their future chances of survival...for all , not just that of Tony's. To me that is reason enough to know as many facts about each that we can before making choices, for them, that have to do with their lives/futures..their very survival, beyond that of just our wishful thinking........in my opinion.
Monday December 3, 2012, 3:11 am
Not sure how you can say that the tiger is NOT exposed to noise and gasoline fumes living at a Truck-Stop. Are you standing in the same line that is denying there is Global Warming?
You must use the same news source that claims "Big Cat Sanctuary Declaws Big Cats".
Not to mention, the evidence was so overwhelming, a judge ruled to have Tony removed from the situation- and the only reason the tiger is still there is because Sandllin appealed the case.
Monday December 3, 2012, 3:44 am
Futhermore- I see you video neglects to state THIS FACT-
"On December 14, 1993 according to The New Orleans Times- Picayune, Tiger Truck Stop was evacuated for five hours after a tanker truck ruptured, spilling 400 gallons of highly flammable aviation fuel at the truck stop "
Monday December 3, 2012, 3:53 am
Jae and friends I couldn't read all these comments completely even if I wanted to. I would be fired immediately(I'm at work). Like all things - there are two sides to the story and we can't have our cake and eat it. I agree with Krystal that we should move on to other subjects and hope that Tony stays happy wherever he ends up. Anyway, it's nice to see how people become emotional and dedicated to their most prcious causes.
Monday December 3, 2012, 4:02 am
For people who call themselves "Animal Advocates". how disgraceful you could run a story about Tony the Truck Stop Tiger, and Michael Sandlin and fail to include this little fact!!!!!
"Sandlin has exploited tigers for over 20 years: buying, breeding, selling, and exhibiting tigers in poor conditions for his own profit. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited Sandlin’s truck stop in the past for unsanitary feeding practices; mishandling tigers; and failure to provide veterinary care, shelter from inclement weather, clean drinking water, and knowledgeable employees to care for the tigers. In 2003, Sandlin’s animal welfare violations sparked public outcry, and three tigers were removed to a Tennessee sanctuary."
Monday December 3, 2012, 6:17 am
Nyack, if all you have said was true, Tony would have been removed from his home many years ago. You , like some others refuse to accept the fact that Tony is one happy tiger, living in conditions that are not deplorable, but loving, and more comfortable than some sanctuaries. You have failed to read all of the comments here and would rather attack. I am sorry about that because we "Animal Advocates" want only what is best for all of God's creatures. Ignoring Tony's happiness and present good life is not good for him., which is what I hoped this was about. I am so sorry that there are some who refuse to actually read all of the comments on this thread, as well as research the facts.
Sandlin has not and does not exploit tigers. The family happens to love and has raised tigers for many years. They would not have bread had they been abused or misused. At any rate, because of the hate generated by so many "Animal Advocates", Tony is the last "Truck Stop Tiger". That is good because it means one or two less tigers in captivity. How many more will continue to suffer because of organizations who want nothing more than the money and publicity these beautiful creatures generate. Fortunately, Tony's owners do not charge a fee to see Tony or profit from him.
Before making wild accusations it would be a good idea to research the truth. I did and found out many things, but then I am an open minded person.
Monday December 3, 2012, 10:05 am
wilde animals should never be caged and if they are already they should be replaced in a free environment as a sanctuary
I wander myself how can somebody think that an animal can be happy in a cage????? activist or not activist this is a common sense matter
Monday December 3, 2012, 11:05 am
WOW, I have always had mixed feelings about Tony. After watching the video and reading all the comments (and I did read each one), I am even more confused. Thank you Carrie for the article and all you who made these comments. I can only hope that whatever is the best thing for this magnificent big cat is done.
Monday December 3, 2012, 12:07 pm
Well i dont believe in any caged wild animals but if he has only known humans he would not survive in the wild but i think it needs to be a law that you have to have a certain space and living conditions for big cats not in the wild as its not fair and against their natural instincts to be kept in small places without grass and trees etc I hope this owner does something about it and gives Tony the habitat he deserves
Monday December 3, 2012, 12:44 pm
Tony is being expolited by his owner who only cares about money and most certainly needs to be relocated to a sanctuary.
Carrie living in a cage is not a life for Tony it is hell.
I AM AN ANIMAL WELARE ADVOCATE AND I AM DISGUSTED THAT YOU CARRIE AND CARE 2 PRINT THIS RUBBISH AND THAT YOU SUPPORT ABUSE OF ANIMALS.SHAME ON YOU!!
Monday December 3, 2012, 1:16 pm
I cannot see how living in a small cage, amid noise, fumes, and bright lights can be good for ANY animal!
No matter how loving the human beings are who care for Tony, it does not compensate.
Tony should be in a sanctuary, where he has space to move, and a pond to swim in and cool off.
No living creature should be caged.
Monday December 3, 2012, 5:12 pm
New petition from Cher here! http://www.care2.com/news/member/100041282/3494806
Tony needs to live an actual life with a variety of free experiences as tigers in good sanctuaries do! Get him out of that limited, experienceless confinement now! Sure, Tony is good for Sandlin's pocket, but nothing is beneficial to life for Tony. He has the RIGHT TO LIVE A VALUABLE LIFE. I agree with many here who say SHAME ON YOU CARRIE AND CARE@ AND JAE FOR POSTING THIS CRAZY, DISRESPECTFUL VIDEO AND LIE.
Monday December 3, 2012, 5:30 pm
Great post Carrie unlike some posters i LIKE to get both sides of a story it keep you from acting to hastely! Although i do not now nor will ever condone keeping a big cat as a pet or any wild animal for that matter, i do agree and knwo for a fact that you CANT just take a tiger that has been with someone for that many years and expect the tiger to come out great in fact alot of tigers who are owned for many many years by an owner they love, are taken away they end up dieing they just get so depressed and stressed that they simply give up stop eating and die! I also dont like any idea of profiting off of an animal but having said that I really dont think BCR BIg Cat Rescue should talk aboout cruelty since they feed live rabbits to their cats bobcats mainly they claim its to keep their hunting instincts but interestingly enoough two of the rehabbed bobcats that they were feeding live rabbits to DIED after release why did they die, they starved! They couldnt feed themselves so i wont take bcr's input as fact! Jae your comments are so well written and informative and Carrie im so very sorry that a "friend" sent you a nasty message and accused you of not being an animal advocate or caring about animals that person is NOT your friend and they obviously DONT know you! Im conflicted on this whole mess but i do know that no wild animal shpould be in captivity and NO person who posts a story whether you agree with it or not should be attacked the way some of you commenters have attacked Carrie its her opinion and she is entitled to it! Some of you came back to comment over 5 times each comment nastier than the last shame on you and you know who you are! Heres an idea instead of being so DAMNED hateful towards Carrie why not use that energy for good and post you own article to the contrary jeez
Monday December 3, 2012, 5:34 pm
I brought up religion to point out that the way people in majority view living beings is handed down not by the true teachings of any masters but by the brutal Romans who altered almost every word, deed, intent, and practice of those who were peaceful, who ascended spiritually and warned us against treating beings in any disrespectful manner that subtracts from their rights to live and walk on their appointed sacred paths. Jesus, John the Baptist studied Buddhist . Greek secret meditation and ways of the Theraputae, Theraveda in Alexandria region, came from Ebionite Carmel, Gnostic experiences (that region was a melting pot of philosophies, religions, practices) and protested sacrifice, usage and eating of sentient beings. This is what got them murdered. If only the teachings of all masters were never destroyed, altered, burned, omitted, edited in an way would people today be less inclined to behave and view themselves the way that Sandlin and so many other do. Sentient beings have the right to live their own lives and avoid imbeciles such as Sandlin. Humans have been warned repeatedly never to do such things to animals, and yet, because the vicious Romans murdered and burned and selected Paul's meat-eating, sacrificing lies, most humans go about their daily lives making the worst possible choices to interfere with the rest of the sacred world and eat and control living beings. This was my point. People are so blind, willingly blind now, as there is no longer any excuse not to educate oneself since information is now at our fingertips. Ignorance is self-imposed now. he use of animals, the eating of them, clods vision and ability to see. Anyone who is seeing Sandlin caging Tony is the manner that he is and ignores the crime of it is is apparently influenced by the accepted attitude that pervades: people are misguided by centuries of blatant lies. I bring up Christ and John the Baptist as I assume that most people in the US who read these posts are familiar with this religion more than others. I am First Nations descended from chiefs whose tribe was basically wiped out by profiteers like the ignorant and ugly and self-important, misinformed, blind, Sandlin.
Monday December 3, 2012, 6:01 pm
Sandlin is ignoring the judge's orders to give Tony a valuable life worth living. To anyone who believes that a caged sentient being is "happy", I feel sorry for you and for the poor beings who are confined by the massive ignorance that man imposes upon them. All beings have the right to FREEDOM. I can no longer be "friends with you, Carrie, as you dismissed an opportunity to restore some of the birthrights to actually live and have experiences to an innocent animal with continues existence in abject poverty of any value. Sandlin does not OWN Tony, but, unfortunately, he and billions of the blind believe and operate under such false pretexts, harming life everywhere. Look at where this attitude has brought the entire Earth Mother today. Just look! Oh, wait, you are unable to see the negative effects on life. You rejected Tony rights to a new life, an actual chance to live more normally, and I reject you. I prefer the company of veg'ns and those who meditate and have experiences in the real worlds, on the other side of the veil from this material place where the blind lead the blind and such great damage is committed against life and freedom.
A good friend of mine brought up an interesting point. We both have house cats, though many think cats should be allowed to wander as they please, neither mine nor her are outside cats. I have no desire to find my cats dead in the street. Though if one carried this argument to a conclusion, then we are being cruel to not allow them free reign of the wild.
Tony is 10 years old and has no ability to hunt game. If he is moved where will he go? Who is going to decide and pay for the dirty, ill kept shelter for Big Cats? Very few are able to provide space like he currently has and most will not be in the wilderness but just another type of zoo where few will be property trained to care for him. Which does not discount the few zoos that are well maintained, they are seldom able to afford to bring in new Big Cats.
The one sanctuary that does have complete wilderness, huge enclosures and is one of the best in this country or the world, does not believe Tony should be moved. But hey, what could these people know. They are not emotional but rather logical in addressing that Tony would indeed, probably die if moved.
I think this whole discussion about Tony has become a "cause" and avoids addressing what experts see as the best for Tony.
Tuesday December 4, 2012, 11:06 am
Nyack, try sticking to the point and personal feelings about me out of it.
Those authorities and experts in the field who know about Tony and have visited him, and continue to do so believe he should be left where he is. Why do so many here feel they know more than these people?
Tuesday December 4, 2012, 1:27 pm
Thank you Carrie for posting this news. Sympathy for the animals is one of the noblest virtues.
What is the best solution for Tony? The easiest way to answer this question is to trade places. Imagine yourself living behind the bars...
There is always way to care for animals without keeping them in cages.
Tuesday December 4, 2012, 1:31 pm
Yvette, Either you have failed to read all of the comments on this post, or you have chosen to ignore them. For this tiger (Tony), the best thing for him is to leave him alone. There appears to be a disconnect between your personal feelings and the reality of this one particular issue. I choose to rely on facts as much as I can. I only wish I had known more about the facts about Tony before I signed the many petitions I signed, which might possibly or have possibly caused his death.
One question for you and Nyack - How would you feel if Tony was relocated and then died within a short period of time?
Tuesday December 4, 2012, 2:23 pm
Reading many of the comments here, it is quite obvious many did not bother to watch the video or read other comments made by those in a position to know more about Tony and his life than any of us. That is sad because it shows an unwillingness to learn and base a decision on facts rather than propaganda and a basic belief of freedom for all wild creatures.
I share that belief that all wild animals should be free, but that has never been the case for Tony. He is not in a small cage, nor is he abused or neglected. Those who think those things have spent many years being misinformed, as was I. I now know the truth and wanted to share it.
Wednesday December 5, 2012, 10:51 pm
Blessings on Tony and all his kin! Blessings on the two-leggeds who live as consciously as they can. Blessings on those who speak out when they see something wrong. Blessings on those who look at various "points of view" to remain informed. Blessings on those who share important information with others Blessings on those who are kind.
Thursday December 6, 2012, 3:45 am
Thank you all for your comments. I will try to ignore those threatening me. I have only lost two "friends" because of this issue, but have gained four more because I was only trying to tell the truth. Thank you all so much for the support and green stars.
Thursday December 6, 2012, 3:46 pm
As an animals lover and independent thinker, based on the fact that Tony in a WILD animal and since his entire life got messed up by the man in possession of Tony, the only alternative is a sanctuary since he wouldn't survive in his natural habitat which was the way intended by nature. I do not give a crap what this video says about how good that bastard is treating Tony, this is a tiger we are talking about, a wild animal living an unnatural life in a made up wrong environment. Speaking of the facts how well this men can be taking care of Tony if, based on his physical looks he doesn't even take care of himself, and the food he feeds his costumers speaks laud too, of course it takes two to tangle and if these people have the animosity to go eat at his restaurant they provably don't give a crap about Tony either. So if this kind of life in solitude is so good for Tony why don't start raising kids with the same standards of life, in a big cage with no other children, Ohhhhhhh but Tony is JUST an animal right? Shame on humanity!! Imagine your life amount other specie other than your own, just because a bastard took away your freedom and is making a living at your expence and for the amusement of the born stupid to even want to watch the torment he is living. The happiness of any living creature is not accomplished just with food and water, is too achieve by how you feed your spirit regardless of specie, and if you can live the life Tony is living then, I may be wrong.
Thursday December 6, 2012, 7:52 pm
If anyone wants to know who Carries friend was that told her there were two side to this story...well it was me. I probably know more about Tony than anyone on this thread. I have known the Sandlin Family all of my life ! The hate spewed toward them is unwarrented in my opinion. A loving, caring , family of hard workers. I'm proud to have know them all of my life and that doesn't make me predjuce when it comes to Tony..it's the facts about him and tigers in general that has my attention on his future...so don't even go with that '''well you know them..bla bla bla..Cause yes I do which means I know more than any of you as to what kind of people the owner is..and all the facts about Tony and the activist/courts and on and on about Tony since the first push to take Tony away began. It's up close and personal...and for me it's about Tony...not his family/owners
No one is making a living from Tony. He is a maskcott if anything as well as a part of the Sandln Family and that's why the continue to fight to keep him. Ya's think animal lovers might just understand that of any animal owned by a family. .
Tony has emotions and that's what most that want him removed don't appear to care about but that's their right of course. Any animal the age of Tony that's been a part of a loving family can easily die from stress/depression if removed...and that's a frickn Fact. Tony isn't interested in being with other tigers...even if 'some' do adjust to being with others in captivity..it's not their natural instinct ...and that's Fact. . .period.
Some of the same people keep posting articles and petitions about taking Tony from his home/family ...I know of no rule that says that they can't as long as the story is a 'duplicate' which also happens..and there's certainly no rule that says people can't disagree with others. The attacks , name calling and all on here should be that's the norm for a lot of threads it seems. To threaten Carrie is absolutely uncalled for in my opinion.I am proud of her for presenting the fact that there are two sides to this story..and for her standing up against the bullying by others that she has on this thread/topic..pvt. messages etc.
Apparently there are some on care2 who think only their viewss are to be posted but they are wrong as can be.
Not all stories, even those to do with animals and or activist are what they might appear to be at first...which has been mentioned above somewhere . This is one of those stories ..in my opinion and that of others. Get use to it people. No group is perfect...and no group is above letting money/donations cloud 'their cause' in my opinion, not even those of activist groups...animal or whatever type.
I am fine with others attacking me as long as they understand I will return with my own opinion of their opinions/attacks...so have at it folks..This story has a side that the activist are totally ignoring in my opinion...one that means life or death for Tony...and there side has more neg. possibles than leaving Tony where he is..and that's fact as well as in my opinion...
Thursday December 6, 2012, 8:26 pm
I wish you could Carrie. Now..as for you losing friends over this thread...I don't think those were friends to begin with as friends don't judge a person for their opinions that might differ from theirs. They sure as hell don't turn on one and make threats against those who do like some I feel have done toward you.
The lies and misinformation posted by some on this thread are proof that 'some' didn't take time to watch the clip for starters..and that 'some' don't know squat about tigers in general..or they wouldn't have made the silly statements they have about them as if they were facts. At least I'd hope that they'd have better sense not to pass on misinformation/lies knowing they are...but some people do no doubt...that's just life I suppose, even when it comes to the facts about Tony and animal lovers in general. Shame as there are often two sides to an anmal story even ..........so again I think you for bringing that fact to others via this thread regardless of those who didn't watch the clip or that posted lies/misinformation about Tony/tigers in general..nor read the comments of others to learn facts that they probably might not know or maybe as it's been said, rather not know.
These more to this story than posted on this thread but for now, this is enough to have given those who do want to know a lot more facts about Tony and tigers in general ,beyond that of what those complaining about his family, his present life..his habitat etc. don't want people to know.................in my opinion..
"Speaking of the facts how well this men can be taking care of Tony if, based on his physical looks he doesn't even take care of himself"...So Genoveva M. in your thinking people who are over weight/fat should not have animals as they are not capable of taking care of them ..it appears that is what you are saying. If that were the case there would be a lot more dogs and cats in shelters and being taken away from their owns/family due to the owners over weight problems.
As for you remark..."the food he feeds his costumers speaks laud too"....How lame or ignorant can a statement be like this I wonder. First off, no one makes them eat the food served the truck stop resturants customers. Secondly, just because it's a 'truck stop ' resturant.. doesn't mean they don't have as healthy of food as most resturants..chain or independent ones. In the last 20=30 years truckers have also become more 'health' conscious as to what they eat. Even most corporte truck stop cafe's serve healthier food now...much more so than any fast food places such as McDonalds etc. where millions of parents take their children to eat regularly. Truckers sit behind the steering wheels of their big rigs and are on tight schedules. Often they must eat and sleep right away so they can meet their scheduals,meaning they go to bed on a full stomach all too often. Weight problems are huge in this country and truckers are no exceptions but the food they eat at 'truck stops' in most cases is as healthy/neutritional as any cafe/resturant around that serve meals that are..vegitarian as well as those with meat. You appear to be judging truckers and what they eat as unhealthy which just isn't the case. Their personal choices might add to their weight, just as Mr. Sandlins might but I'm banking that you have no idea as to why Mr. Sandlin is the weight he is. Just more B.S. hate spewing toward someone you don't know is all I see you doing.
As far as those who eat at his resturant you said that you believe they probably don't give a crap about TOny either..why is that Genovera ? Because they are truck drivers who have to stop for fuel and eat while making that stop..to save time..as they are on the job ? True,they aren't there just to see Tony but how can you blanket judge them all as to how they feel about Tony or any animal for that matter. How arrogant of you in my opinion to be so incorrect in your assumptions as to the food there and those who eat there and when it's comes to people who are over weight/fat for whatever reason.
Again,just for your benefit...as to your comparing children to tigers.....tigers in the wild are LONERS ..period. Tony has spent his life around humans, not other tigers which they really don't like to do in the first place as I just explained..it's not their nature......period.Neither is captivity but the reality is they are and another reality is that they can adjust to their human owners and become very emotionally attached to them..especially when born into captivity and remain with the same family/owers.
SPeaking of spirit..it seems you have no problem with breaking Tony's spirit by wanting him taken away from his family and the life he is most familiar with. That's the health risk here to Tony in case you haven't read any of the comments before posting yours.
Animals are living in captivity all over the world.WIld animals..domestic animals. An animal is an animal but even so I think most of us agree that it would be better if wild ones were not..but that's just not reality nor the world we live in.
FYI..Tony was not taken away, he was born into captivity from many generations of tigers born in captivity. Something that the laws have allowed for years..decades... regardless of what any of us think..that's just a fact. That is changing as are the views about exotic animals in the hands of private owners..as well as zoo's by many. That's not the question nor the point here. The reality of the 'spirit' and emotional state of Tony and it will probably be if removed from his life long home to date. Stress/depressed/full of grief. Too bad you don't give a crap about that..at least not as far as I can tell by what you've said in your comment...as you've ignored all the facts about Tony and just went with your 'rathers' and 'assumptions' of not only Tony but those who eat at the truck stop..the food they serve..and the owner himself.
Speaking of the owner Genoveva. As far as I know the owners parents were married at the time of his birth so your calling him a bastard is also incorrect. I used the word just as you did as well as the way you spelled it. Not acceptable usally on care2 but personally I have no problem with the word but I do when it doesn't apply to a person. There is a 'B' word used for females also...acceptable when calling a female dog one but I doubt that you or anyone else on here would find it acceptable for me to call you that name..regardless of how correct they might be in doing so in the opinion of some of us.
Personally I think you should do some serious soul searching of yourself Genoveva...and perhaps take reality as it is as well as the facts as they are and stop appearing that you prefer to remain ignorant on each of those things when it comes to ........Tony and about people you don't even know or even as to the food they choose to eat.
Friday December 7, 2012, 2:48 pm
Terry W. The reality is that a truck stop might not be the perfect place for a tiger,but then neither are many zoo's...where the space for their tigers/big cats in general are no larger than Tonys ..and without heating/a/c as Tony has and without the natural ground play area that Tony has.. Most zoo's have only rock and concret areas for their big cats. Many zoo's are located in metro cities...where fumes are far worse than an out in the middle of nowhere on the hwy. like the majority of truck stops are and that the Tiger Truck Stop is.
The point is Terry..not that the truck stop is perfect or not... it's that Tony was born and raised there. He has spent over half of his life there... Tigers as with domestic animals have what most of us believe are emotions/feelings. Just as with any animal that's loved and raised around humans they become emotionally attacted to them. Many cases where animals are taken from their owners that animal has gone into depression from grieving to the degree that they ....die.
All facts must be taken into account when it comes to the well being of animals...all facts about their species..wild or domestic..plus where they were born and raised . Their emotions are as important to animals as any part of the facts about them. Why risk the death of Tony due to causing him emotion stress/depression etc. at this late stage in his life due to being removed from the home/human family? Because people didn't know or care to know the facts nor care about anything other than what they see as 'perfection ' for a wild animal..which just isn't the reality for many domestic and or wild animals. Take reality and the facts into account is all that I and others are saying at this time. Tony's well being..his very life... is at stake and those who refuse to look at ALL the facts about his life, his age, the health risk in taking him away, and facts about tigers in general..in the wild as well as captivity need to be what everyone takes into account....period. Not just their 'rathers' and 'assumptions'....in my opinion.
Sunday December 9, 2012, 12:18 pm
Here are some 'basic facts' about Tigers that some might find interesting.
Top Tiger Facts
Tigers are considered to be one of the most fascinating creatures out there in the world.
There is a great deal of information to learn about them so get ready to explore some wonderful tiger facts. They will help you to gain more insight about the lives and even the future for these animals.
1. Every single tiger in the world has their own distinct pattern of stripes.
This is one of the easiest ways to tell them apart from each other. These stripes are used to help the tiger to hide in their natural environment though so they can sneak up on their prey.
2. They largest of the tiger subspecies is the Siberian Tiger.
3. There are 6 subspecies of tigers left in the world and 3 more are known to be extinct.
The remaining 6 subspecies of tigers are all classified as endangered species.
4. All subspecies of tigers are extremely territorial.
5. Tigers are loners.
They are most of the time loners with exception of when they are courting, mating, or raising their offspring in case of females.
6. Tiger mean "arrow".
The word tiger came from the greek work "tigris", which is derived from a Persian word that means arrow, probably the name came to be due to the comparison between the speed of the animal and an arrow, or because of the Tigris river.
7. Tigers are 2 million years old.
The oldest fossil remains of tigers are believed to be about 2 million years old. They were found in various areas of China.
8. Bengal Tigers are seriously endangered.
There are believed to be less than 2,000 Bengal tigers left in the world. However they are not the most endangered of the subspecies, being the South China Tiger the subspecies with less individuals left.
9. Tiger mix.
There are some types of hybrid tigers out there. Most of them have been breed in captivity rather than engaging in this on their own in the wild. What is known as the liger is a cross between a lion and a tiger. A tigon is a cross of a female lion and a male tiger. Most of the time the males of these two hybrids are sterile but the females can breed successfully. The creation of such hybrids is still very common in zoos throughout China.
10. White tigers are result of a genetic mutation.
White tigers are extremely rare in the wild. Both parents must have a mutated gene in order for this coloring to occur. They are often bred for this coloring in zoos but the result is a great deal of inbreeding. This is why white tigers are more likely to develop severe health problems as well as physical deformities than other types of tigers.
11. The Maltese Tiger.
The Maltese tiger or Blue tiger features a black and blue coloring. Most of the Maltese Tiger are known to be South Chinese Subspecies, which is the most critically endangered subspecies.
12. Tigers have not an easy life.
It may surprise you that these calculated hunters only make the kill in 1 out of every 20 attempts.
13. Tigers are great swimmers.
Tigers are excellent swimmers and are often found during the day relaxing in ponds, streams, and rivers. They seek out water to cool off during hot days and they are even capable to carry prey through water.
14. Some Tigers are human killers
Tigers have killed more humans than any other cat in the world. This has probably obey to the fact that humans have invaded their habitat.
15. Some Tigers are famous.
Tigger from the Winnie the Pooh series is one of the most well recognized tigers in the world. Millions of dollars are made annually from the sales of toys, games, and shows featuring this character.
16. Tigers are very popular.
The tiger was recently named the favorite animal of people through a poll conducted by Animal Planet. The dog was the animal closest to this top ranking.
17. Tigers size depend on their habitat
Tigers in the North are larger than those in the South based on their range of habitat and the size of the prey they have available to them. By the same token tigers in the North have lighter coloring than those living in the South.
18. A tiger can leap forward up to 33 feet at a time.
19. Tigresses are smaller than the males in each subspecies.
20. It is estimated that there are 12,000 Tigers in captivity only in the US.
*This is more than the tigers registered in the wild. *
Sunday December 30, 2012, 11:08 am
Oh,If only Tony could talk,but that would not change the fact that he does not have a clue to what options there are for him other than his own world.
Jae stated that tiger's are loners. In his own way,Tony may be content. Maybe more content than zoo tigers.
However,I feel like we are the all male panel discussing female rights.
Only Tony knows what makes him happy,who are we to debate something we know really nothing about.
I also have signed many petitions, but if there exists a bond,and there is more room for him than at a zoo,I do not think I am expert enough to know Tony's heart.