Tiger Truck Stop may lose its feature pet
According to a report released on Oct. 8 by the AP, the locally famous Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete near Baton Rouge (home of the fighting Tigers) may have to give up its featured pet, Tony.
Tony is a 550-pound Bengal tiger kept in a 3,200 square-foot cage in the middle of the truck stop’s parking lot.
Last week, the state Supreme Court refused to hear Michael Sandlin’s appeal over a license he lost to keep Tony. Animal rights groups have been fighting Sandlin in court for years, saying a truck stop is no place for a tiger.
Sandlin said he probably won’t appeal the high court’s decision but will continue a second bid to keep Tony by challenging a 2006 law giving the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries jurisdiction over big and exotic cats.
“To be quite frank, I don’t really want a state permit. I think the state exotic animal ban is unconstitutional and discriminatory,” he said Tuesday.
The agency has described Tony as the last privately owned big cat in Louisiana. Sandlin said he doesn’t know when state District Judge Janice Clark will schedule a hearing in his lawsuit challenging the ban.
Federal laws and rules already protect the animals, Sandlin said, and Tony gets 20 pounds of meat a day and has regular veterinary care.
Sandlin does have a point that Federal law should be able to cover the specifics of owning big cats as he also has a point that such specific regulation is somehow unconstitutional.
Yet, when you’re at the Tiger Truck Stop with the smell of diesel, and the noise of screeching brakes it is apparently obvious this is not the place for a massive predator that has an average range of many miles in the wild.
In the least Sandlin should give the prized creature to LSU, a zoo, or some other facility with a proper habitat. But since he won’t, judges are going to have to give stricter judgments of the law and even more restrictions are going to be placed on large animal owners.
Even if someone would go under the dark of night, and take the captive from its cage the outcome would be better than the fight Sandlin is making for the right to animal abuse.
Short URL: http://www.jenningsdailynews.net/?p=23036