Tony the Tiger – the roadside truck attraction euthanized after 17 years

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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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12 replies
  1. Nancy Raymond says:

    O please, what do you mean ‘end his suffering’? Michael Sandlin made Tony suffer for 17 years using him as some cruel form of entertainment so he could reap the profits – RIP Tony – it is all over and you can now run free as you were meant to do.

  2. Adrienne says:

    Tony should have been transferred to a zoo years ago to at least be wit other captive animals. Yes, he was fed and taken care of the best the facility could do, but solitary living was not good for this animal or any animal. At least now his body released of the pain he had and just hope they don’t try to replace Tony.

  3. Helen says:

    RIP Tony. I’m sorry you never had the opportunity to live free in the wild where you belonged. Wild animals should never be caged and displayed, regardless how well the human owners take care of them. It’s a pity this poor tiger never experienced freedom.

  4. Red says:

    RIP Tony and I HOPE AN PRAY THIS ASSINE truck stop DOES NOT get another wild animal to cage !! This poor beautiful animal had the most terrible, lonely life time any animal could have. TIGER TRUCK STOP SHOULD BE ASHAMED AND HUMILIATED at making this animal suffer his entire life!

  5. susispot says:

    DAMN! This is not the way we wanted Tony’s story to end. I know how hard advocates fought for his release to a sanctuary. RIP Tony. You were loved by many that worked to make your life better.

  6. Michelle says:

    RIP Tony. You deserved a better life that being in some roadside truck stop! Shame on your own er. Let’s hope he doesn’t ruin another beautiful wild animals life.

  7. DD says:

    No. A sad day for his owner???? Really????? How about throwing the owner in prison for extreme animal cruelty. Why is this not illegal????

  8. ellen cottone says:

    Pet Rescue Report People!!
    We can do something about this rite Now!
    Peta has organised a link directally to each of our state senatorial allies.
    They want to end big cat ownership in the hands of abusers for ever.
    Could you please take the time to express your outrage where it will do the most Good?

    We Got This.
    Help Big Cats Like Tony, Who Died After a Miserable Life at a Gas Station,

    Tony the tiger was forced to spend his life in a chain-link cage at a Louisiana gas station, until he was recently euthanized because of his failing health. He was 17 years old and had spent nearly his entire life imprisoned at the truck stop. It’s too late for Tony, but it’s not too late to help other big cats who are languishing in private homes across the U.S.
    Tony the tiger in cage

    © Big Cat Rescue
    In nature, big cats often have home ranges of hundreds of miles, where they have the opportunity to roam, swim, climb, hunt, choose their mates, and raise their young. But in private homes, they suffer in cramped cages and barren enclosures, where they’re denied everything that’s natural and important to them. Wild animals belong in the wild, and when these dangerous apex predators are confined to private homes, the consequences can be fatal, and there have been hundreds of dangerous incidents in the U.S. since 1990.

    To help end the private breeding and possession of tigers and other big cats, please use the form below to let your members of Congress know that you support the Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 1818), which would bring an end to private ownership of dangerous wild cats, safeguarding both wild animals and communities across the U.S. You can check to see if your representatives are already cosponsors of this bill by clicking here. Please feel free to customize the letter, thanking them if they’re already cosponsors or asking them to sponsor it if they aren’t.

  9. ellen cottone says:

    can you even Imagine his suffering and lonelyness as barbarians taunted him thru his cage bars, enduring truck gas fumes and dry dog food, sweltering in the louisianna sun, heat and unhumanity? For any of us here who choses to allow it,
    may we endure the same fate next life.


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