On Monday, the LSU Tiger faithful got some bad news when their live tiger mascot, Mike VI, had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. He was given about two months to live and that attracted the attention of the animal rights activist group PETA.
The organization wrote a letter to school president, F. King Alexander, calling for an end to their live mascot tradition. The letter says that big cats kept in captivity suffer psychological problems.
“People go to LSU football games because they want to see top college athletes playing the best football in the country, not because there’s a caged tiger sitting on the sidelines,” the letter reads. “I hope you agree that it’s time to recognize society’s growing distaste for animal exhibition and bring a new tradition to LSU of using only willing, costumed human mascots.”
Mike VI has attended one game over the last two seasons, missing the other 12 games due to health reasons. The tiger’s veterinarian Dr. David Baker explained that the school doesn’t force him to attend games that he doesn’t want to.
“He doesn’t care; he’s an animal,” Baker said. “He doesn’t read his Facebook page, and this might come as a surprise to some people. Or, ‘Oh man I’ve gotta go to the Alabama game.’ He doesn’t know these things. He’s just a tiger.”
I am sure many of the Tiger fans would disagree with PETA on this situation. It also would not be a surprise to see a Mike VII in the very near future.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports