After 10 years of life in a cage, Tony the truck stop tiger has won his freedom. The Siberian Bengal tiger has spent his entire life at the infamous Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisianna surrounded by diesel fumes and living conditions that were harmful to his well-being. Activists from around the world have supported in the fight to free Tony for years.
On Friday, May 6th 2011, District Judge R. Michael Caldwell of the East Baton Rouge District Court granted the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s request for a permanent injunction against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. This action prevents them from renewing the annual permit that allows truck stop owner, Michael Sandlin to keep Tony as of December 14th, 2011.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund continues their effort to help free Tony before December 14th by submitting a new petition which would call for the immediate revoking of the permit that allows him to remain at the truck stop.
The fight for Tony’s freedom has drawn the attention and help by celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Kristin Bauer. Credit can be given to all of the thousands of people from around the world who have worked tirelessly for ten years in the plight for Tony’s freedom, but two advocates particularly should be noted for their endless work in this cause:
Sky Williamson who has spread the word about Tony through her Tony the Tiger Facebook page and Dee DeSantis with her free Tony the Tiger wordpress blog. Everyone involved resulted in what is being called a “Victory for Tony” but these two advocates should be noted for their endless work towards drawing attention and awareness to the case.
For now, Tony will gain his long awaited freedom on December 14th, 2011. You can help to have him removed before this date, to what will possibly be the Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida by signing the new petition from the Animal Legal Defense Fund.