Memorial set up after popular truck stop tiger euthanized due to health issues
GROSSE TETE - Community members have been leaving balloons and candles outside of Tony the Tiger's cage to remember the popular tiger that was euthanized Monday due to medical issues.
According to Ted Baldwin, the publicist of Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Tony the Tiger was put down Monday. The tiger was 17-years-old, and had been at the truck stop since January of 2001.
Tony suffered from kidney failure and was in declining health, according to Baldwin. WBRZ was told, that Tony will be preserved through taxidermy.
A necropsy will be done by veterinarians to learn more about tiger illness.
On Tuesday, owner Michael Sandlin told WBRZ that he would have the tiger stuffed, mounted and displayed at the truck stop.
Tony’s owner, Michael Sandlin says he does plan to have Tony mounted and displayed at the truck stop— Bess Casserleigh (@BCasserleigh) October 17, 2017
Sandlin went on to say that he wants to acquire another tiger, but the state currently will not allow it. He says he plans to file an 'emergency writ' to demand another tiger.
Tony came under media attention after animal rights activists petitioned to removed the tiger from his truck-stop facility.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund, who is currently suing the truck-stop, released a statement regarding the death of Tony.
"The Animal Legal Defense Fund is deeply saddened by the death of Tony, the Siberian-Bengal tiger held captive in the Tiger Truck Stop parking lot in Grosse Tete, Louisiana. For more than seven years, we litigated on many fronts to free Tony, and we are devastated that despite our best efforts, he lived and died caged at a truck stop that could never provide the life he deserved," the statement begins.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.