Since 1936 Louisiana State University has had a live tiger mascot on its campus. LSU also has a state of the art habitat for our beloved tiger mascot, as well as a nationally praised veterinary medicine school right on campus. That being said, one would think, "wow this tiger really has it made, right?
That is how LSU fans everywhere feel. For us to have a live mascot in a multi-million-dollar habitat, and to be completely praised by students, vets, and fans everywhere — we would never do him harm.
For example, in 2016, Mike VI passed away. How did he die? Not from abuse, neglect, or anything of harm, Mike VI had cancer. Something that is completely natural for both humans and animals. After his diagnosis, Mike VI was thoroughly treated by both LSU veterinary school of medicine, as well as Mary Bird Perkins - Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center. Yes, you read that correctly, a real-life tiger was treated at a human hospital. If this doesn't scream love, I do not know what will. Mike VI was treated like royalty during his life on campus, his treatment, and after his passing.
We (LSU) now have Mike VII (although he is our eighth tiger) on campus and as I am writing this, it is his 2nd birthday! Mike VII has lived a flourishing life since moving to Baton Rouge and has received nothing but love.
Recently, though, a petition was started by animal rights activists with a 40,000 signature goal in order to remove Mike VII from his home on our campus. While the petition was started over a year ago, it is quickly regaining steam, which is an issue.
Nothing about Mike's living situation on campus is harmful to him. His habitat undergoes maintenance weekly, he is well-fed and has top-tier medical treatment if/when needed.
Of anything listed above, what screams "REMOVE MIKE" to anyone??? The fact that he is a live tiger? Yes, he is, and a spoiled one at that. Mike VII is treated with the importance, love, and care that he deserves. Never in this history of live mascots has a single one needed to be removed or given away due to lack of resources, or poor care.
But say, by some strange chance, Mike VII is removed from our campus. Do these people who chose to sign the petition expect him to go to a zoo where chances are he would be treated horribly compared to how he is treated on campus? Or even worse, releasing him into the wild where he would potentially fail. He has never had to hunt or fend for himself, so what says he would be proficient in that aspect in order to survive in the wild.
Regardless of your viewpoint, the fact of the matter is, Mike I - Mike VII have all been treated like royalty as a member of the Louisiana State University family... why change that now? Mike is home, leave him there.