Grosse Tete’s Tiger: City Council Allows Truck Stop to Keep Tiger as Roadside Attaction

1052757_370The Iberville Parish Council in Louisiana has voted 11-1 to allow Tiger Truck Shop owner Michael Sandlin to keep Tony, a Siberian Tiger, as a roadside attraction in Grosse Tete, Louisiana. The cruel confinement of the tiger does not appear to bother the good people of Iberville.

Sandlin is now expected to secure a permit from the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries that will enable him to legally keep the 550-pound tiger. He has raised the tiger from the time of being a cub.

Iberville Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso Jr. said that he will make sure that Sandlin complies with basic requirements for the safety and welfare of the tiger. Now there is a civic promise. How about prohibiting the caging of exotic animals in small cages by amateurs as a roadside attraction?

When the issue went before the city council, it turned into an ugly scene as members of both sides went after each other in the halls. There is now an international movement calling for Tony’s removal from the site, including websites.

Only Councilman Edwin “Ed” Reeves Jr. appears to have a modicum of sense and compassion on the council — casting the single dissenting vote. The council voted in favor of Sandlin despite an ordinance that prohibits an individual from keeping any “wild, exotic, vicious animal or reptile for display or for exhibition purposes.”

Sky Williamson, who has taken up the fight to save Tony, said that see first saw the tiger in 2005 in a concrete cage off of the parking lot: “Tony’s in a cage, continuously inhaling diesel fumes, sloshing around in his own waste… It’s sickening.” Activists have found a home for Tony at the Big Cat Rescue of Tampa, Fla., but Sandlin calls it nothing less than theft of his tiger. Ironically, he complains that the activists have not raised a dime to improve his current living conditions.
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Notably, some members like Councilman Mitchel J. Oubre and Councilman Matt Jewell stressed that displaying Tony brings tourists to the town and that they would not want to lose the tourism business.

Sandlin has been written up 16 times by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for violating regulations over the poor housing from Tony. Sandlin was forced to turn over two other tigers in 2003.

Both Sandlin and the city face serious liability should anything go wrong. For Sandlin, he would be held strictly liable for any accident with the Tiger under common law torts. I wonder if his insurance company is aware that he houses a wild animal on the property?

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25 thoughts on “Grosse Tete’s Tiger: City Council Allows Truck Stop to Keep Tiger as Roadside Attaction”

  1. I just saw this Tiger Yesterday. It is very terrible, he paces back and forth in his cage.

  2. “That being said, it in no way reduces the danger of a big cat even if he likes you. They are wild after all and if their alien logic decides you’re dinner, it’s game over.”

    You got that right!

    Tony will not rip your face off like the ape did, if Tony gets his mouth on you that’s it, your done.

    He has the strength of 30 200 pound men all at once, can you imagine? One can understand why I said if he is a “pet” why don’t you go inside and play with him…..LOL

  3. Hi guys! Thanks for caring about Tony and making calls on his behalf….

    Talking about “murder” I was told that Sandlins son was going to cut my throat and throw me into the Bayou….

    Is there a difference in a coon ass and a redneck?????

    Have you guys seen what Sandlin looks like? The man must be 300 plus pounds, scary!!!!

    Oh well, you guys are awesome. Keep up the good work.

  4. “If you get a 150 pound dog, you’re still the boss”

    Even when they use their powers of doggy persuasion to remind you how cute and lovable they are to get what they want?

  5. Gyges,

    I beg to differ. Don’t get me wrong. I love dogs too. There are four in the house right now. Cats are social animals too, but they operate on an almost alien logic compared to dogs. A dog’s social hierarchy is much closer to that of humans. Cats play a much looser game. They have their own peculiar rules and you play by them or you don’t play. You can train them, even domestics, but they are far more willful than a dog generally speaking. That being said, it in no way reduces the danger of a big cat even if he likes you. They are wild after all and if their alien logic decides you’re dinner, it’s game over. Even a smaller cat like an ocelot or a bobcat can kill an unarmed man.

    And you don’t have to run faster than everyone, just the guy behind you. Or so they say.

  6. This seems like an apt place for stating why I’m a dog person: If you get a 150 pound dog, you’re still the boss, you just have to be a better at training then most people . If you take your average cat, add 100 pounds, you’re still just a source of food, unless you happen to run faster than most people.

  7. It did go to hyperlink! This group hasn’t given up yet and there’s contact info at the link.

  8. Best Friends will look into this. It sounds like Sky’s group, Big Cat Sanctuary and PETA have really been doing hard work to get Tony a much better home.

    If Mr. Sandlin loves the tiger I hope he will give Tony a good life.

    Here’s info on Sky’s group and Big Cat Sanctuary: (I can’t get it to hyper text)

  9. lol

    You weren’t kidding about that turd in the punchbowl reception! It would appear they are getting really hammered on this.

  10. Bron,

    I got the message that it wouldn’t work also the first time I called. Try the main number again, it does go through. Thanks for trying, keep it up. You’ll be as welcome as a turd in a punchbowl when you do get through, so be prepared!

    Iberville Parish Government:
    Main office line 225-687-5190


    Tigers are magnificant animals. They are so intelligent and there’s no way this animal should be in this situation. I hope PETA will stop having sex long enough to make a call about this!!!

  11. I just went to the website, while they are in a cage the guy does seem to be interested in their well being and they dont look like they are malnourished or mistreated. I know only part of the equation.

    He is solciting funds to build them a pool so I plan to send him some money to this end. He probably is not going to give them up without a fight so I figured why not contribute. And I could very easily see a crazy coonass offing the tiger to make a point.

    What with the killer chimp the other day it ought to be illegal to keep wild dangerous animals in captivity by private individuals unless they can prove competence and have at least similar quarters to that of a zoo.

  12. Jill,

    Some days I just want to kiss you. My cats send their regards too. Tigers are a noble, elegant creature that deserve far better treatment than this. Thank you for fighting for him. I’m sure he’d tell you the same if he were able.

  13. Just spoke to the parrish, They are not happy that this story has gone national nor that a tiger sanctuary will be informed about their actions.

  14. I sent this story to Best Friends Animals Sanctuary. I know they will pass it along to a reputable Tiger Sanctuary. Here are some other important numbers to call:

    Iberville Parish Government:
    Main office line 225-687-5190
    Office of Social Services 225-687-5244
    Head Start 225-687-5213
    Emergency Preparedness 225-687-5140
    Substance Abuse 225-687-5889
    Mike Zito Multipurpose Center 225-687-5190
    Solid Waste 225-692-3844
    Planning Commission 225-687-5150
    Human Resources 225-687-1590
    Animal Control 225-687-5881
    Permits & Inspections 225-687-5150
    Substance Abuse 225-687-5889
    Sales Tax 225-687-5200
    Utility Department 225-687-5152

  15. I can say with metaphysical, epistomogical and ontological certainty that the quote above is correct.

    I once had one tell me that “we like you okay but that guy you came with not so much. you tell him that things can happen out in the Gulf.”

    not that that has anything to do with the quote above but I have never had someone blatantly tell me that murder is an option for certain undesireables. And the fact that I believed him is in my mind a justification for the conclusions.

  16. I’ll have to say Bron is 100% correct.

    The way that tiger is kept is disgraceful and I’ve seen him more than once, but it’s about par for locals. They have a saying in Louisiana. “You can tell a coonass from a mile away, but up close you can’t tell ’em nothin’.”

  17. I lived in Lafayette for awhile, those coon asses are crazy. I am surprised they havent made tiger etouffee, gumbo or boudin out of the beast. I think they eat anything that flys, swims, walks or crawls.

  18. I bet there are some big tourism deals on the internet right now for tours to and from this hot spot called Iberville. Who is kidding who? This is cruel and the Ag Dept should step in immediately and seize the animal and charge the owner for cruelty.

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