LSU fans and visitors to campus who decide to spend time checking in on the school’s live tiger mascot, Mike VI, might be concerned to see a sore, purple area on his face, but his caretakers say it’s nothing to cause worry.
Mike was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in his face last month and has since undergone radiation therapy on the tumor. Mike developed a radiation burn from the treatment, which caused irritation and led him to rub his face and lose hair in the area. His caretakers say Mike doesn’t appear to be in any pain and the area is being treated. His hair is expected to grow back, too.
Mike has a radiation burn (similar to a sunburn) that is causing irritation. We are treating it, but it will take a while to heal.
— Mike VI (@MikeTigerVI) June 23, 2016
Mike’s cancer is called spindle cell sarcoma. It is not expected to spread to any other parts of his body, but it will cut his life expectancy to 1-2 years from this point. Without treatment, he could live only 1-2 months, his veterinarian said.
Mike was recently named the best mascot in the SEC by an ESPN panel and he has received an outpouring of support from other mascots and fans around the country since his diagnosis was revealed.