Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Will Tony the Tiger die this year due to Greed??

Headlines read 

Grosse Tete truck stop can continue live tiger exhibit, state agency says

Wildlife and Fisheries issues permit for the last privately owned big and exotic cat in the state

Despite a strong push from animal-rights activists, the state has granted a truck stop owner a permit allowing him to continue exhibiting a live tiger as a roadside attraction at his Grosse Tete business.
The permit issued by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries allows Tiger Truck Stop to keep Tony, a 10-year-old Siberian-Bengal tiger, on display throughout 2011.
Tony is the last privately owned big and exotic cat in the state, Wildlife and Fisheries press secretary Bo Boehringer said Thursday.
The permit was required after a 2006 legislative action gave regulatory authority over private ownership of potentially dangerous animals to Wildlife and Fisheries, Boehringer said.
The legislation prohibited private ownership of big cats, but allowed people who already owned the animals before 2006 to be “grandfathered” as long as they went through a permit process to keep their animals, state officials have said.
There were four privately owned tigers living in the state when the Legislature acted in 2006, Boehringer said.
The owners of three of those tigers opted to have the cats moved to Wild Animal Orphanage in San Antonio, he said.
Tiger Truck Stop owner Michael Sandlin opted to keep Tony at his business and go through the permitting process, Boehringer said.
Sandlin had until this month to provide the state with proof of liability insurance, a written plan detailing emergency steps to take in case the tiger escapes and a health certificate from a licensed veterinarian, Wildlife and Fisheries records show.
Agency officials last made an unannounced visit to check on the tiger’s welfare on Dec. 9, Boehringer said.
The agency will continue the surprise visits throughout 2011 to ensure the tiger is healthy and has adequate food and water, he said.
The issuing of the permit comes about a month after animal-rights activists began ramping up efforts to have the tiger removed from the truck stop and placed in a sanctuary specializing in caring for big cats.
Throughout November, activists have been posting messages on blogs, calling on the public to petition the state not to renew the permit.
The next day, activists posted a picture on Gov. Bobby Jindal’s Facebook page. The picture shows the tiger displayed on a video board in Times Square in New York City with the caption: “Tiger Truck Stop Continues to Fuel Public Outrage.”
Nine days later, the Animal Legal Defense Fund started an online petition to keep the permit from being renewed.
On Dec. 2, Mary Haik, an advocate for the tiger, made an impassioned plea to Wildlife and Fisheries commissioners asking them, to no avail, to intervene in the matter.
The tiger also gained some notoriety this summer when internationally known animal-rights activist Anthony Marr paid the tiger a visit during his six-month “Compassion for Animals Road Expedition.”
Standing outside the tiger’s cage, Marr called Tony’s captivity “shameful,” adding that it is a “blight on the face of Louisiana.”
Sandlin, the truck stop owner, could not be reached by phone for comment Thursday, but has said in the past that Tony is well cared for, healthy and happy.
Sandlin has also said he will consider placing Tony in an animal sanctuary as the tiger ages.
“This is the only home Tony has ever known,” Sandlin has said.

Personal  Note "Looking back the last 2 years
I personally read Tonys story the fall of 2008 and felt so compelled to try and do something for Tony thats when I made a group called Set Tony the Tiger Free on Face Book then I contacted one of my myspace friends Anthony Marr and told him about this beautiful Tiger that was a road side attraction.I made the group to try and bring attention to all my facebook friends,It worked and in that short time we had over 3,000 members. Im sad to say that the group got deleted and there was a lot of arguments between I and another activist about the group and who was in charge. Over the last two years there has been many advocates fighting to get this poor tiger sent to a sanctuary and it saddens me so that people can not look past money and think of the poor animal. All I was trying to do was Raise Awareness thats what I do.
I read a few months back that Bengal Tigers could go extinct in as little as 13 years if something is not drastically done this is a shame and man kind is to blame.Tony will forever be in my heart and I pray that the man that has caused Tony so much pain and heartache reaps every moment of pain Tony has had to endure all these years. Tony looks very sick these days and in his recent photos you can tell just how much weight he has lost.
                                      (Sandlin you need to come off that fat wallet and feed your tiger)

I want to send out a special thank you to Anthony Marr for going to see about Tony this past summer while on your travel across America road tour and everyone else that has reached out and cared enough to sign petitions and post for the cause. Maybe one day if its not to late Tony will be set free .

   Join Tonys support group


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