Forgotten Tiger

Dear USDA, On 1-31-08 I was coming from Carencro Louisiana heading towards Baton Rouge and I noticed that on a interstate sign it said Live Tiger Exhibit and then right after that there was another interstate sign that said Tiger Truck Stop next exit. This is on I-10 exit 139 in Louisiana. I thought surely I had misread the first sign but knew that I would have to get off the exit to make sure of that or I would always wonder. I took the exit, turned right on Hwy 77 and then a right on the next street which lead me to the truck stop. As soon as I pulled into the truck stop on the other side of the parked 18 wheelers I could see his enclosure. I could see him pacing back and forth over and over again. I walked up to the enclosure and was in disbelief. His paws (front and back) were covered in poo and mud. There was poo and throw up in front of his den on the concrete. I was in disbelief at the size of his enclosure, it is so small for such a huge creature. It broke my heart to think that he had been living life this way for who knows how long. (I would later find out many years) When I first walked up to his enclosure he had a faint purr and would moan after each breath, it was a terrible moan filled with such sadness. It was like it took all of his energy to get it out. It made me just burst in to tears. I had never heard such sad moans as I did that day. When I looked up he had stopped pacing and was looking directly at me. When I looked in his eyes I felt like I was looking at a creature that had his soul torn from him. I saw complete sadness. This is a horrible quality of life for a Tiger, it doesn\'t take a rocket scientist to see that. I talked with Jeff Dorson the director of the Louisiana Humane Society and he informed me that at one time there was three Tigers in the enclosure and public pressure had forced the owner to take two of them to a sanctuary somewhere. I was also informed that the Animal Plant and Health Inspection Services govern Animal Exhibits under rules and regulations that fall under the Animal Welfare Act. If what I saw was in anyway legal, humane, acceptable under the Animal Welfare Act then we have much bigger problems then I will ever be able to comprehend. A Tiger (male) in the wild covers a territory of 60 to 100 km. A Tigers average life span is 20 years. How many years has this Tiger been made to live like this How many more years does he have to suffer before somebody is going to stand up for him and what his rights are How many years before this Tiger is going to die without a chance at life at all Somebody has to help him and from what I was told, that somebody can only be you. This Tiger living like this is completely unacceptable and inhumane. If my child had seen this he would have been devastated.Please don\'t let this go on any longer. This Tiger should be free to live the rest of his life in a humane Tiger sanctuary. Sincerely, Sky Williamson AS OF 3-25-08 THERE ARE 101 SIGNATURES, I WILL BE SENDING IT TO THE USDA SOON, THANK YOU TO ALL THAT CARE ABOUT TONY........

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Sky Williamson

Links

http://lists.envirolink.org/pipermail/ar-news/Week-of-Mon-20030908/006133.html http://www.tigerhaven.org/page.asppage=2&p=Meet%20the%20Cats%20and%20Others

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