BATON ROUGE, LA — This morning, Thursday, April 5, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a lawsuit to force the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to enforce Louisiana’s big cat ban in the case of Tony, Grosse Tete’s “truck stop tiger.”
Michael Sandlin's permit to keep Tony, an eleven-year-old Siberian-Bengal tiger, expired in December. The ALDF claims that because the tiger still remains in the confines of the truck stop, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is in violation of state law.
“The state of Louisiana has explicit regulations designed to protect tigers like Tony, and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is required to enforce them” says ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells. “The court has already granted Tony and ALDF a victory by ruling that Michael Sandlin’s permit to display Tony was illegal. Sandlin, now without a permit, cannot be allowed to continue to exploit this tiger with impunity.”
In addition ALDF along with two Louisiana residents filed a petition to intervene in Sandlin’s current lawsuit against the state. The law offices of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell, & Berkowitz, P.C. are providing pro bono assistance with the lawsuit and the petition to intervene.