The beautiful Tiger above is named Tony, he is a 16 year old Siberian Bengali Tiger who spends his days and nights in Grosse Tete, a little town 20 miles west o Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He lives in a truck stop, surrounded by constant noise, gawking visitors and gas fumes from endless traffic.
Tiger Truck Stop owner Michael 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 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, three tigers were removed. The USDA allowed Sandlin to keep one tiger: Tony.
According to Dr. Jennifer Conrad, a veterinarian who specialises in big cats and has worked with ALDF to free Tony, a busy truck stop is an inherently cruel place to keep a grown tiger.
“This poor cat is subjected to diesel fumes and noise without a break,” Dr. Conrad said.
“His highly adapted senses must be overloaded with these noxious stimuli. This seems to be an untenable situation for any animal, and Tony reacts by incessantly pacing.”
Now Sandlin is continuing to explore Tony while his case is wrapped up in legal proceedings that moves so slow that by everyday that passes is a day shorter for Tony to have a chance to roam with other Tigers in an area suited for him. Tony remains in prison.