Following the passing of Mike VI on Oct. 11, LSU is in search of a new live tiger mascot.
The live tiger passed away at the age of 11 after being adopted by the university in 2007. He was diagnosed spindle cell sarcoma in May 2016. He underwent radiotherapy on June 1, 2016, and was humanely euthanized in his night house by LSU’s attending veterinarian, David Baker, Ph.D.
The death of the live tiger caused a stir with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), which suggested that Mike VI be the last live tiger mascot at LSU.
“This sad day could mark a kind new beginning for LSU, where sensitive, intelligent tigers have been reduced to game-day props for decades,” PETA said in an October statement. “PETA is calling on the university to honor Mike VI’s legacy by making him the last live mascot to be locked up in captivity and paraded around an unruly stadium. The last thing LSU should do is condemn yet another tiger to a lifetime of exploitation.”
While PETA may disagree with the university, LSU has the support of NCAA president Mark Emmert, according to Tiger Rag’s James Moran.
Mark Emmert, who was a big proponent in constructing Mike the Tiger's habitat: "It's beautiful. We need to find a tiger, though." #LSU
— James Moran (@SmartestMoran) November 2, 2016
Emmert, who was back in Baton Rouge on Wednesday, served as LSU’s chancellor from 1999-2004 where he was instrumental in the construction of LSU’s current habitat for its live tiger mascot.