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Grosse Tete’s tiger-jail turnkey claims in a new lawsuit against the state of Louisiana that the 700-square-foot enclosure at his shabby truck stop is actually a “safe haven” for the Bengal-Siberian tiger that lolls away its days getting ogled by travelers amid the din of interstate traffic and a bouquet of diesel fumes.

The Advocate is reporting Michael Sandlin is claiming in the suit that he has a federal permit to keep “Tony” and that the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries doesn’t have the authority to prohibit his ownership of the animal. Sandlin has been repeatedly rebuffed in state court since a judge ruled last spring that his permit to own the tiger is invalid.

In his recent lawsuit Sandlin makes the dubious claim that his ownership of the tiger represents a sanctuary for such big cats, ignoring the fact that there are large, state-accredited sanctuaries for exotic animals that allow them some freedom to roam: “The fact is that the exotic animals in the wild are disappearing at alarming rates because of the illegal activity of criminal poachers,” Sandlin’s suit asserts. “Thus, private ownership and exhibits like Sandlin’s and Tiger Truck Stop’s has become the safe haven for these most precious of our endangered commodities.”

Michael Sandlin: Saving exotic species one tiger at a time. Talk about putting the big head in Grosse Tete.

Read more here.

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