The Animal Legal Defense Fund Mourns the Loss of Tony the Tiger
The Animal Legal Defense Fund is deeply saddened by the death of Tony, the Siberian-Bengal tiger held captive in the Tiger Truck Stop parking lot in Grosse Tete, Louisiana. For more than seven years, we litigated on many fronts to free Tony, and we are devastated that despite our best efforts, he lived and died caged at a truck stop that could never provide the life he deserved.
We—like you—are frustrated and angered that Tony continued to suffer at the Truck Stop even after the Animal Legal Defense Fund successfully obtained a judgment in 2012 prohibiting Louisiana from issuing any future permits for Tony’s captivity. That judgment should have required the State of Louisiana to move Tony to a reputable sanctuary where he could have lived for the last five years in the naturalistic environment he deserved. Rather than giving Tony the life he deserved, however, the Louisiana legislature passed a law exempting the Tiger Truck Stop—and the Tiger Truck Stop alone—from the Louisiana Big Cat Ban, undoing our victory in court and trapping Tony at the truck stop.
Despite our best efforts, we were unable to get that corrupt legislative maneuver declared unconstitutional in time to save Tony. But rest assured our litigation efforts on behalf Tony’s fellow big cats will not end.
We will continue to fight with vigor to uphold the constitutionality of Louisiana’s Big Cat Ban against the challenges to that law from the Tiger Truck Stop’s owner, Michael Sandlin. A victory in this litigation will ensure that Tony will be the last tiger to suffer at the Truck Stop and there will never be a Tony II or Tony III who will have to suffer the same fate.
“Tony’s tragic death demonstrates how our legal system leaves wildlife, including members of endangered species like Tony, extremely vulnerable to exploitation by incompetent or uncaring individuals,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells.
While we are saddened that we were unable to save Tony from his tragic confinement so that he could join other Animal Legal Defense Fund clients like Rickey the Bear, Njjarra the Lion, and Bear the Wolf at reputable sanctuaries—we will continue to fight in the memory of Tony and the millions of other animals who have been mistreated, until no more animals are subject to such suffering.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund Applauds Long Overdue Closure of ‘Tiger King’ Zoo, Urges Animals Be Transferred to SanctuaryThe Animal Legal Defense Fund applauds the closure of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, the zoo depicted in the Netflix documentary, “Tiger King,” following the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) suspension of its owner’s exhibitor license.August 20, 2020 News
After multiple lawsuits filed and fought by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Tiger Truck Stop has finally stopped exhibiting animals and tore down its cages. The Tiger Truck Stop, the infamous gas station in Gross Tete, Louisiana, held Tony — an endangered Siberian-Bengal tiger — from the age of 6-months until his death at the age of 17 in 2017.July 14, 2020 Press Release
Long-time Miami resident asks Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott to co-sponsor the Big Cat Public Safety ActJune 2, 2020 Press Release