What to do with Tony, the eight-year-old Siberian-Bengal tiger born and raised at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, will be the main subject of tonight’s Iberville Parish Council meeting. Tiger Truck Stop owner Michael Sandlin is trying to obtain a permit from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in order to legally keep Tony; first, he needs the Iberville Parish council to grandfather him into parish law prohibiting individuals from owning or displaying wild animals. Lobbying against him are animal rights activists who want Tony out of the truck stop and into an animal sanctuary where he can be more humanely cared for. (See The Independnet’s Feb.4 cover story, “Cat Fight” )
The issue has spawned dueling Web sites and petitions (savetony.com and freetony.com ) with both sides urging their supporters to tonight's council meeting. The national media is also starting to sink its teeth into the story. Yesterday, Fox News posted an over the top article titled “Claws Come Out in Fight Over Tony the Truck-Stop Tiger” with the roaring lede, “A gr-r-r-reat cat fight is brewing at a truck stop in Louisiana.”
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