Aug. 30, 2011 05:05 PM

A Baton Rouge appeals court on Monday tossed a district court judge's earlier ruling prohibiting the state from issuing any more permits for Michael Sandlin to maintain a live tiger display at his squalid, diesel fume-scented I-10 truck stop in Grosse Tete.

A Baton Rouge appeals court on Monday tossed a district court judge's earlier ruling prohibiting the state from issuing any more permits for Michael Sandlin to maintain a live tiger display at his squalid, diesel fume-scented I-10 truck stop in Grosse Tete. Animal rights activists have tried for years to shutter the Tiger Truck Stop's iron-and-cinder-block "habitat," where for the last few years Tony, a 550-pound Bengal-Siberian tiger, has languished for the fleeting entertainment of travelers. At one time the location housed as many as half a dozen tigers.

In May the activists thought they succeeded: A judge ruled in favor of the Animal Legal Defense Fund and against the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, setting this December as the expiration date of Sandlin's permit. Led by the ALDF, the activists had kept the pressure on Sandlin, urging LSU a few weeks ago to go after the cat-clink warden for infringing on the university's trademark. (Sandlin recently went whole hog with his LSU tie-in by painting Tony's enclosure purple and gold.)

But the appeals court ruled that Sandlin should have been party to the legal action last May and has ordered a new trial.

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