Truck Stop {Court Case 2008}

Truck Stop {Court Case 2008}
Click Image to View Court Case 2008

The LDWF Board of Commissioners vs Mary Haik

On December 2, 2010, Louisiana resident Mary Haik presented a very strong argument on behalf of Tony, his welfare and against the permit renewal to The LDWF Board of Commissioners, but they declined to take action in Tony’s case and said it falls under the authority of The Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries.

See part of Mary’s statement to LDWF Commission Board.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Board Meeting 12.2.2010

Hello my name is Mary Haik. I’m a Louisiana resident and come before you today to speak for people across the world who are fighting for the welfare of Tony, the tiger on exhibit at a truck stop in Grosse Tete, LA.

Many of you are already aware that this tiger is the most talked about tiger in the world. There have been many allegations of noncompliance. I am sure that the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries (LDWF) has some sort of explanation or rebuttal to the allegations of noncompliance for example, algae in Tony’s water bowl, or the tiger never having had a complete medical exam which includes blood and other lab work.

But, the record demonstrates unarguably that The Truck Stop has been in a non compliant situation with the Iberville Parish Ordinance 3-91, from 2000 until November 4, 2010, and with LAC Title 76, Part V, Section 115 from 2006 – November 4, 2010.
I will discuss briefly the facts of this case which cannot be argued away or grandfathered away and are indisputably supported in black and white:
The Iberville Parish Ordinance of 1993 stipulated that “no person shall keep or permit to be kept on his premises any wild, exotic, vicious animal or reptile for display or for exhibition purposes whether gratuitously or for a fee.”     The Department has already acknowledged this noncompliance in letters to Mr. Sandlin, Tony’s owner.  In a letter from the LDWF dated October 17, 2008, Mr. Sandlin was advised that his permit was put on hold pending confirmation that the Truck Stop was in compliance with the ordinance within 30 days of the date of the letter.  THEN--  In a letter from the LDWF dated November 17, 2008, Mr. Barham denied Mr. Sandlin’s permit and ordered the tiger be removed within 30 days.  Yet the tiger was not removed in 30 days or ever, for that matter.  

It seemed that Louisiana was ready to create a new image in April 2006, with the amendment to Title 76, Part V, Chapter 1, Wild Quadrupeds, which made ownership of tigers illegal in Louisiana unless exempted.  The revised statute allowed an exemption to own wild animals like tigers if they were legally owned on August 15, 2006.  
In March 2009, the Iberville Parish Ordinance was amended with a grandfather clause exempting Mr. Sandlin retroactively to August 15, 2006, the date specified in the Title 76 exempting those who LEGALLY OWNED a tiger on that date.

How could a tiger be grandfathered in the Iberville Parish Ordinance 3-91, written in 1993 when he was born July 2000 and was already illegally owned since the year 2000--after the law was established prohibiting the exhibition and legal ownership of this tiger?

To the entire rest of the world this is an obvious attempt to circumvent the law. I am saddened to say, and with no disrespect to this Commission or to the people of our great state, that this is one of those times when the whole world looks at Louisiana and thinks that we reek of corruption and idiocy.

Finally without dispute :
The record demonstrates unarguably that since March 2009, when the Iberville Parish ordinance was amended to legitimize this tiger, Mr. Sandlin was carrying only $100K in liability coverage and not the required $500K. In my conversation with Maria Davidson, October 21, 2010, she stated that she was unaware of this last December when the permit was issued, and had since found out.  Yet the Department took no action.

Even though the Iberville Parish Ordinance states that if any of the conditions are not met “the tiger shall be immediately removed”, when Mr. Ourso, the Iberville Parish President was approached on October 29, 2010, the tiger was NOT immediately removed; instead Mr. Sandlin was given 2 weeks to comply.  The record shows that the insurance condition had not been met since the inception of both the Iberville Parish permit and the LDWF permit, until November 5, 2010.  

So, I come to you today to ask:
  1. If these indisputable incidents of non compliance year after year are not enough to deny a permit, then what is?  and
  2. If laws are written to protect these endangered species, and then the laws are not enforced as written, then why write them, in the first place?

Thank you all for the time to present on behalf of Tony and the Free Tony The Tiger Campaign.
The Advocate article


Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham also said after the meeting he had not seen any evidence showing that the truck stop is breaking the law.
“Until that occurs, the truck stop is fulfilling its obligations and the permit will be renewed,” Barham said.

The LDWF, Gov. Jindal and Secretary Barham can be sure that Tony’s supporters will not give up the fight for Tony’s relocation to a proper home.
Continue to state your opposition to the permit renewal by contacting Governor Jindal and LDWF Secretary Barham. Please keep correspondence on point and respectful.
Louisiana Residents: Your support is very important.

Phone Numbers:
Governor Bobby Jindal:
1-225-342-7015 and 1-225-342-0991
Secretary Robert Barham:


For your reference this is the LDWF position statement on privately owned tigers:
”It is the Department’s position that private possession of tigers poses a significant hazard to public safety and is detrimental to the health of the animal. Prolonged confinement is by its nature stressful to tigers and proper long-term care by experienced persons is essential to the health of the animal.”

Fax Numbers:
Governor Jindal:

Governor Jindal online e-mail contact form:

Secretary Barham (LDWF) online e-mail contact form: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/contact

Please also try these direct e-mail addresses for Sec. Barham – so far they have not bounced back:

Any Twitter users please network

You can find Free Tony The Tiger on Twitter: http://twitter.com/TRUCKSTOPTIGER
The LDWF and Governor Jindal have Twitter accounts – so give them a shout and show your support for Tony.  Add the #TRUCKSTOPTIGER and @TRUCKSTOPTIGER in your tweets or retweet Tony’s posts:
http://twitter.com/ldwf @LDWF
http://twitter.com/BobbyJindal  @BobbyJindal

Emails, faxes, postal mail, phone calls are all appreciated. Please share this link and ask your friends and family to support Tony – and thanks again to everyone who cares about Tony and continues to advocate for him.

Congress.org is a great site to find contact information – just enter your zip code in the right hand side of this link: http://www.congress.org/ to find the postal addresses and contact forms of your elected officials. If you register for free with congress.org you can also directly email your state and federal officials from the site.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Maria Davidson
Large Carnivore Program Manager
Louisiana Department Wildlife and Fisheries

5652 Highway 182
Opelousas LA 70570
Phone: (337) 948-0255
Fax: (337) 948-0213
e-mail: mdavidson@wlf.la.gov

Fred Kimmel (Ms. Davidson’s supervisor)
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

2000 Quail Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
Phone: (225) 765-2355
e-mail: fkimmel@wlf.la.gov

Main Office:
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
2000 Quail Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
Phone: (225) 765-2800

Robert J. Barham, Secretary
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

P.O. Box 98000
Baton Rouge, LA 70898
Phone: (225) 765-2623
Fax: (225) 765-2607
e-mail: Chendrick@wlf.louisiana.gov
Please also try these direct e-mail addresses for Sec. Barham so far they have not bounced back:
website: http://www.gov.state.la.us/index.cfm?md=pagebuilder&tmp=home&cpid=16
website: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/
web e-mail form: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/contact
FaceBook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Baton-Rouge-LA/Louisiana-Department-of-Wildlife-and-Fisheries/112762357891
Twitter: http://twitter.com/ldwf

Governor Bobby Jindal
Office of The Governor
P. O. Box 94004
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9004
Phone: (225) 342-7015
Fax: (225) 342-7099
web e-mail form: http://www.gov.la.gov/index.cfm?md=form&tmp=email_governor
Governor Jindal’s FaceBook Page: http://www.facebook.com/bobbyjindal
website: http://www.gov.state.la.us/

Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
Capitol Annex Building
1051 North Third Street
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802
P.O. Box 44243
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-424
Phone: (225) 342-7009
Fax: (225) 342-1949
e-mail: ltgov@crt.state.la.us
online e-mail contact form: http://www.ltgov.la.gov/?md=form&tmp=share_ideas
website: http://www.ltgov.la.gov/

Louisiana State Attorney General James D. “Buddy” Caldwell
Constituent Services
Street: 1885 N. Third Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Mail: P.O Box 94005
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
Phone: 225-326-6079
Website: http://www.ag.louisiana.gov/index.aspx

More Information: http://www.ag.louisiana.gov/Article.aspx?articleID=28&catID=12

Please contact the state senator/representative and congressman of your district. Find out who your representatives are here: http://www.congress.org/ by entering your zip code under “Get Involved.”

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