This season, LSU will have a new live tiger mascot, and Mike VII will have a newly upgraded habitat to call home.
The university is in the midst of upgrading Mike the Tiger’s habitat, and the plan is for the construction to be complete before Mike VII arrives to join LSU’s incoming freshman class in August, according to the Tiger Athletic Foundation.
The renovation of the 15,000-square foot habitat will “introduce new technology and enhancements.” One of those enhancements will be the Comfort Rock, which will allow Mike VII to relax comfortably no matter what the temperature is.
Aside from that, there will be an expanded water feature that will motivate the tiger to stay active during cooler weather. There will also be new landscaping, namely the Rockwork Tree, which will be placed at the center.
In January, it was announced that Mike VII would be handled differently from LSU’s prior mascots in the sense that he won’t be rolled into Tiger Stadium in a cage before home games, a decades-old tradition for the school.
Here’s the official statement from LSU:
“Responsible care for live exotic animals has evolved throughout the years, and LSU has evolved with it, as evidenced by the renovations to the tiger habitat in 1981 and the construction of an entirely new habitat in 2004-05. In that vein, LSU has decided that the tiger will not go into Tiger Stadium on home football game days. He will be out in his yard seven days a week. By having Mike in his yard on game days, it ensures that fans are able to see him throughout the day.”