LSU gave an update Thursday on the search to replace Mike VI, who passed away last October after fighting a rare form of cancer.
The school's attending veterinarian, Dr. David Baker, continues his search for the next live tiger mascot. The current plan is for Mike VII to join LSU's incoming freshman class in August after renovations are complete to the on-campus habitat. Those renovations are scheduled to begin in April.
LSU is also working to have the habitat accredited as a tiger sanctuary. "Becoming an accredited sanctuary means that LSU has met high standards of excellence in animal care and is operating ethically and responsibly," said a press release. "LSU believes that these changes are in the best interest of the longevity and ethical management of the LSU tiger mascot program."
The tiger habitat and LSU's animal care plan are licensed by the USDA.
"By becoming an accredited sanctuary, LSU is demonstrating its commitment to worldwide tiger conservation and hopes to raise awareness about the dwindling live tiger population and the plight of tigers kept illegally and/or inappropriately in captivity in the U.S," said the release.
Another change is that the live tiger mascot will no longer make an appearance at Tiger Stadium on game days. Instead, Mike will roam his yard.
The three previous Mikes were donated from rescue facilities. LSU has not purchased a tiger since Mike III in 1956.
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