The owner of Tony, the Grosse Tete truck stop tiger which was recently euthanized due to health issues, said he plans to stuff and mount the animal in his restaurant according to a report.
The Advocate said Michael Sandlin already has a stuff tiger at the Tiger Truck Stop: Selene, a Bengal tiger who died at 3 1/2 years old due to pancreatic cancer. He said he was considering making a museum or memorial to honor their memory.
Sandlin also reportedly plans to try and get another live tiger for his truck stop, which displayed Tony for years in an outdoor enclosure on the property. The state passed a big cat ban in 2006, but unclear language and rules issuances by the state Wildlife and Fisheries department led to several legal challenges about Sandlin’s right to keep and display Tony. Governor Bobby Jindal signed legislation which officially grandfathered Sandlin in, but currently it is illegal for him to get another big cat.
Sandlin says he intends to fight that in court, according to the Advocate.
The nonprofit Animal Defense Legal Fund took Sandlin to court over Tony’s treatment, suing both state and federal government agencies in the process. A spokesperson for the organization said Sandlin’s comments were “disrespectful,” prove his only use for Tony was as a “promotional prop.”
The Tiger Truck Stop’s Facebook page prominently features posts and graphics with the slogan: “Animal rights activists taste like chicken.”