Nathan Stubbs

Tony the tiger fight rages on

by Nathan Stubbs

When the Iberville Parish Council voted last month to exempt Tiger Truck Stop owner Michael Sandlin from a parish ordinance prohibiting individual ownership of exotic animals, Sandlin appeared to be in the clear to keep his 8 year-old, 550 pound Bengal-Siberian tiger on display as a roadside attraction. Get ready for round 2. Iberville Parish President J. Mitchel Ourso has vetoed the ordinance exempting Sandlin and is now encouraging the council to require Sandlin to improve Tony’s living conditions in order to keep him. In this TV2 report, Sandlin says he’s open to upgrading Tony’s facility and even throws out the idea of putting a heating and air conditioning unit in Tony’s cage.

Meanwhile, animal rights activists, led by Lafayette resident Sky Williamson, are gearing up for another council showdown. Blogging on the Web site, Williamson calls on fellow supporters to step up their lobbying efforts, before the council revisits the issue.

“We are happy that J. Mitchell Ourso vetoed the Council’s ruling, but the council can still over rule his veto with a 2/3’s vote. Ourso is asking the council to change the amendment to include measures that would make the Tiger Truck Stop more safe and more humane. There is no way to do either, but I am sure that if they do it at all, it will be some lip service language that does not really address either issue.”