02 May 2011

Leonardo DiCaprio joins the free Tony the tiger campaign

Oscar nominated performer and long-time activist Leonardo DiCaprio has joined the fight to free Tony, the tiger kept in captivity for nearly a decade at a truck stop in Grosse Tete, La.

Last week DiCaprio shared the following with his Facebook followers:
Have you heard about Tony, a Siberian-Bengal tiger living at a truck stop in Louisiana? This tiger has been living in a small inadequate and inhumane enclosure alone since 2003. We need to help the Animal Legal Defense Fund in urging the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to revoke the permit that allows this.

The Inception actor becomes the latest star to team up with the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) in an effort that will hopefully soon lead to Tony’s freedom from the noise, dangerous fumes and cramped space he experiences daily at the Tiger Truck Stop.

Coincidentally—or not—DiCaprio’s timing couldn’t be any better as ALDF intends to finally put a stop to Tony’s exploitation by his owner Michael Sandlin…soon.

According to ALDF:
On May 5, ALDF will square off against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in East Baton Rouge District Court over the legality of a permit that allows Tony, a ten-year old Siberian-Bengal tiger, to be confined as a roadside exhibit at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, La. ALDF is arguing that the Department violated state law in granting the permit to Tony’s owner, Michael Sandlin.

If you want to join the fight, sign the petition to free Tony here.

And let’s hope the next story regarding Tony will be of his newfound freedom.

Eric Fortney | @elfortney | email
Eric is the co-founder and executive editor of the animal rights and eco-friendly news source, This Dish Is Veg. In addition to his work at TDIV, Eric is a father of three, runner, and lover of the outdoors.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/ninha_lalala