Tony the tiger is a Siberian/Bengal tiger held in captivity, for ten years, by a cruel owner and showed on display at Louisiana truck stop. This is such a sad story. People have been fighting for years to have this tiger moved to the Big Cat Rescue, a big cat sanctuary, in Tampa, Florida. The owner has also fought hard, to keep his tiger living in horrible conditions and to keep making money off of him. The tiger's main living area is an outdoor concrete cage, visible to the public and people driving by on the freeway, where he is breathing in toxic car fumes and surrounded by loud traffic noise. He has no room to run or swim and leads a stressful, unhappy life. The poor creature is being exploited by it's owner, Michael Sandlin, as a roadside attraction for people to come and shop at his truck stop. It's sickening the way this beautiful animal is being treated, like as if he is a commodity to be capitalized on and not a living creature that needs to be protected and cared for properly. Tigers need space and freedom to roam. It is cruel and abusive to keep this magnificent animal locked up in a small cage. Watch this video by Big Cat Rescue. For more information visit Free Tony the Tiger.
On Dec. 14, 2010 Michael Sandlin's yearly permit to keep Tony was yet again approved by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. But the fight is not over. To find ways to help, click here.
To do my part I am going to send a letter to Avaaz to ask for their help in petitioning the American government to free Tony. They are an organization that gets millions of people all over the world, to sign petitions for important causes. Let's hope we can get their help on this one too.
*Correction I have just sent this letter to Avaaz:
"To whom it may concern,
I am writing on behalf of Tony, a Siberian/Bengal tiger, held in captivity at a truck stop in Louisiana for the past 10 years. His living conditions are deplorable and he is inhumanely being exploited by his owner as an exhibit to make money. He is on public display, in a small concrete cage, beside a freeway where he breathes in toxic truck exhaust and hears loud traffic noise 24/7. He needs your help to raise awareness and have a petition made to fight for him. The Big Cat Rescue in Tampa Florida has offered to take him and provide him with a good home where he can run and live in proper living conditions and be treated with the respect he deserves. But his owner refuses to do the right thing. For more information about his plight visit http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/tonys-story/ . Also I have just posted on my blog about this and have said that I am going to ask for your help in this matter http://enviromommy.blogspot.com/ . I have signed many of your petitions and I believe that you are the one organization that can really help Tony, because thus far nothing anyone else has done has worked. This needs a global campaign. Please help."
Let's hope it works!