On Monday evening, Tony the Tiger was euthanized; he was 17-years-old and for his entire life he had been a roadside attraction at the Tiger Truck Stop in Gross Tech, an Iberville Parish community.
According to the Advocate, Tony’s health had been declining as he continued to suffer from kidney failure. On Monday evening, Ted Baldwin issued a statement on behalf of the tiger’s owner Michael Sandlin.
“The decision was made to end his suffering at the facility… a sad day for his owner Michael Sandlin and the entire (Tiger Truck Stop) family.”
Tony has been an attraction at the Tiger Truck Stop since January 2001 when he was only six-months old. For years, there has been a lot of controversy from humane organizations relevant to Tony’s health, however Sandlin denied the tiger had any serious illness stating he had been regularly examined by a veterinarian and only limped because of age-related arthritis. Tony lived in a cage with a grassy plot and had a “swimming pool” he used as well as some toys and a hanging tire. In captivity tigers generally live from 14 to 18 years.
For anyone following Tony’s sad story, animal rights groups had waged a long battle to have him removed and sent to a sanctuary stating he wasn’t receiving the proper care. The Animal Legal Defense Fund released a statement that “despite our best efforts, he lived and died caged at a truck stop that could never provide the life he deserved.”
What a shame Tony the Tiger never set his paws upon freedom from a truck stop cage.
Rest in peace big guy.
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