Controversial Grosse Tete Truck Stop Owner Almost Sent His Tiger To Joe Exotic
Would you believe me if I told you that the Netflix sensation known as Joe Exotic has ties to south Louisiana?
According to The Advocate, the owner of the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete "once considered sending his former mascot" to the eclectic zookeeper at the center point of "Tiger King," the hottest new Netflix docuseries.
Michael Sandlin is the owner of the controversial Tiger Truck Stop located between Lafayette and Baton Rouge and back in 2013, the New York Times reported that he almost sent his tiger to Joe Exotic's Oklahoma zoo to live out his final days.
Much like Joe Exotic—real name Joe Schreibvogel—Sandlin was always at odds with animal defense groups over the 550-pound Bengal-Siberian tiger that he kept caged on the truck stop property along Interstate 10. The Animal Defense Fund "fought tooth and nail" to have Tony the Tiger removed and Sandlin figured that Joe could "provide good care" for his tiger.
This clip was actually produced and posted by Big Cat Rescue, Carol Baskin's animal defense group.
The Grosse Tete truck stop was actually featured on Joe Exotic's "Out and Wild with Joe Exotic" internet radio show where Sandlin was seen tending to the grass and climate control in Tony's cage. Joe approved of Tony's living conditions and overall health during the show.
This tiger is in no need of being rescued. You can’t smell any gas; you can’t smell any diesel.
I'm not sure how much Joe Exotic's approval is worth now after "being convicted of two murder-for-hire plots and 17 animal wildlife violations," but Tony was never sent to Joe and was eventually euthanized in 2017 due to "health issues" after spending 17 years as a roadside attraction.
You can actually see brief footage of the south Louisiana truck stop at the end Episode 4 in Season 1 of Netflix's true-crime documentary, "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness" although Tony isn't actually shown.
Have you watched the "Tiger King" docu-series yet? If so, I'm interested to hear your take—so drop me a comment with your thoughts and stay safe "all you cool cats and kittens."