He's ready for his closeup: Mike VII makes debut at LSU

Rufina Vignone
Agosto 21, 2017

In January, LSU announced the next Mike the Tiger would not be paraded around LSU football games as cheerleaders ride atop his golden cage - a major departure as the university seeks to simultaneously continue and update the decades-old tradition of keeping a live mascot on campus.

Harvey the 11-month old tiger, who made his debut at the school on August 15th, has officially been named Mike VII.

Before the new Mike moved in, LSU said $950,000 worth of upgrades were made to the tiger habit.

LSU recently renovated Mike VII's enclosure and yard next to Tiger Stadium in preparation for the arrival of Mike VII.

WIth details to come soon, LSU plans to hold a welcome event for Mike VII.

Harvey replaces Mike VI, who died in October following months of treatment for spindle cell sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. Like the previous three Mikes, he is a rescue and the school says it has not purchased a tiger since Mike III in 1958. LSU does not support for-profit breeding of tigers.

In 2005, a $3.7 million 15,000-square foot environment was built during the reign of Mike V. The habitat included a live oak tree, a waterfall and a stream. It's also become one of the most visited landmarks in the state of Louisiana.

The comfort rock is a naturalistic element within the habitat that provides a heated or cooled surface for ultimate relaxation in Mike's Habitat. Additionally, funding from supporters of TAF's Mike the Tiger Brick Program helped cover cost of this project and future maintenance of the habitat.

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