Camel Replaces "Tony the Tiger" At I-10 Tiger Truck Stop


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(WBRZ)  Nine months after the well known "Tony The Tiger" had to be euthanized because of kidney failure, the controversial truck stop in Grosse Tete is sheltering a new exotic animal.

The 5-month-old named Casper the Camel came from Texas, along with a South American coati. Owner Michael Sandlin said he didn't want his tiger exhibit off of I-10 in Iberville Parish to stay empty. “It’s been a while since the gate has been open,” said Sandlin. 

State law now prohibits him from owning another tiger. “I was ready to go to jail,” said Sandlin, who was planning to purchase another big cat. “I wanted to let y’all be here and film them taking me away. I believe in personal freedoms, I believe in property rights and I believe that people should have the right to take care of these animals.”

Once Sandlin realized an arrest for owning a tiger would lead to a felony on his record, he decided to fill the exhibit with Casper.  It’s part of his next plan for the truck stop. Sandlin is looking to have a petting zoo for those traveling by.  “Chickens, ducks, and different animals that will be good for children,” said Sandlin. He does plan to expand the camel’s exhibit since Casper is still growing.

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