Tony the Tiger will stay put at the Gross Tete truck stop where he lives - at least for the next couple of weeks. The Advocate reports that 18th Judicial District Judge J. Robin Free has signed a temporary restraining order that keeps the Siberian-Bengal tiger at the Tiger Truck Stop until a hearing on Dec. 29. Truck Stop owner Michael Sandlin had been ordered by the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to remove the tiger by today. Sandlin hopes to get Iberville Parish officials to amend an ordinance that would allow him to keep the tiger there as part of the roadside attraction that has included tigers for the last 20 years.
Update (12/17): Apparently things turned pretty ugly last night at an Iberville Parish Council meeting when it came to Tony the Tiger. The Advocate reports that both animal rights activists and supporters of Sandlin showed up at the meeting.
But when the groups spilled out into a hallway for an interview with a television crew, a fracas erupted.
Members of both sides hurled insults and shouted at each other.
One of Sandlin’s workers, a woman, had to be physically restrained several times from attacking an animal rights activist who called her “an inbred.”
After several minutes of angry exchanges, a police officer was summoned to restore order and escort the animal welfare advocates to their cars.