BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Lawmakers have decided to let a Grosse Tete gas station owner keep a tiger onsite, overruling court decisions against him. The House voted 67-26 Friday to send the measure by Port Allen Sen. Rick Ward, a Republican, to the governor.
Ward’s bill would exempt Michael Sandlin – owner of Tiger Truck Stop and a 550-pound Bengal tiger named Tony – from state restrictions on owning exotic cats. Bill supporters say the tiger lives comfortably and safely. New Roads Rep. Major Thibaut, a Democrat, said the bill protects a property owner’s rights. Opponents say it’s improper to change a law to overrule a court decision.
Animal rights groups say keeping Tony at a gas station threatens public safety and the tiger’s well-being.