BATON ROUGE — Mike VII is a playful little tiger cub, his keepers say. That’s why it’s important for fans not to bring pets or stuffed animals with them when they visit LSU’s newest mascot.
His caretakers said in a Facebook post that Mike VII, formerly known as Harvey, can’t tell the difference between live and stuffed animals. If he sees one, he could throw himself against the glass to try to get to the “animal,” whether it’s real or fake, which could break one of his teeth.
Dental problems, according to his caretakers, are the No. 1 cause of death for tigers, both in the wild and in captivity.
Mike VII arrived on campus Aug. 15 and was quarantined for about 10 days before making his debut in his new home Aug. 21.
He replaced Mike VI, who was euthanized in October 2016 about five months after he was diagnosed with brain cancer.
Mike VII, with both Siberian and Bengal characteristics, was donated to LSU from a sanctuary in Okeechobee, Fla., called “Wild at Heart Wildlife Center.” Mikes IV, V and VI were also donated to LSU from rescue facilities.