Months after the death of a Siberian-Bengal tiger who was the main attraction at a Louisiana truck stop, a new but somewhat less exotic animal has taken his place.
Caspar the Camel has taken the place of Tony the Tiger, who died in October of 2017 after having spent most of his 17 years as an attraction at the Tiger Truck Stop near Grosse Tete, Louisiana. Tony was suffering from kidney failure and was euthanized.
Caspar is a five month old dromedary camel and he is currently living in the cage where Tony used to reside, according to the Advocate.
Michael Sandlin, the owner of the Tiger Truck Stop says that he will continue the legal battle to get a new tiger to replace Tony, but animal rights groups like the Animal Legal Defense Fund have vowed to use every legal weapon in their arsenal to prevent another tiger from spending its life as a caged roadside attraction. They have questioned whether Sandlin was providing the animal with a high enough quality of life. They also claimed that the noise and diesel fumes were bad for the tiger’s health.
Though there is a 2006 law on the books in Louisiana that forbids private big cat ownership, Sandlin was allowed to keep Tony thanks to a 2014 legal exemption that said that anyone who owned a big cat prior to 2006 was not subject to the state law. Sandlin has filed suit to challenge this law in his fight for a new tiger.
Tony first came to the Tiger Truck Stop at the age of 6 months old in 2001 and spent almost his entire life in a 3,200-square-foot cage in the truck stop parking lot.