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Landry’s Restaurants Heads to Court Over Alleged Mistreatment of Tigers

The animals in question are housed at Houston’s Downtown Aquarium

A white tiger at Downtown Aquarium
Downtown Aquarium/Facebook
Amy McCarthy is a reporter at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

Back in September, we learned that massive Houston-based restaurant group Landry’s and its billionaire owner Tilman Fertitta were threatened with a lawsuit over the treatment of white tigers housed at its Downtown Aquarium restaurant. Now, Landry’s is fighting back.

Texas Lawyer reports that Landry’s Inc is currently suing the Animal Legal Defense Fund in court, accusing the advocacy group, its general counsel, and a woman named Cheryl Conley who helped “expose” the treatment of the tigers of defamation. In response, the defendants in the Landry’s suit have now filed motions to dismiss the lawsuit, saying that it violates their right to freely express their opinions.

"We filed the lawsuit because they made false statements about the care and treatment about the tigers. We are very comfortable that our lawsuit is proper. What they did is outrageous,” said Steven L. Scheinthal, attorney for Landry’s. “They made false allegations wantonly and recklessly.”

Landry’s plans to fight the motions to dismiss, so don’t expect for this battle to end in any kind of hurry. Meanwhile, more than 100,000 supporters have signed a petition demanding that Landry’s transfer the animals to an “accredited cat sanctuary.”