PETA asks LSU to stop using captive tigers as mascots

PETA asks LSU to stop using captive tigers as mascots

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A national animal rights organization is calling for the Louisiana flagship university to stop using live tigers.

Officials reported Monday that LSU's sixth tiger mascot, Mike VI, has been diagnosed with a terminal cancer.

Following the news, PETA and LSU Animal Advocates sent a letter to LSU asking for the university to not get another live mascot. Part of PETA's motto is that "animals are not ours to use for entertainment."

In the letter, the organization talks about how captive big cats, such as tigers, can suffer psychologically when they are stressed, uncomfortable and confined. They went on to note that the university also exposes the tigers to "bright lights and rowdy crowds at football games," according to a release.

"People today realize that orcas don't belong in tanks, elephants don't belong in circuses, and tigers don't belong in cages in stadiums," said Rachel Mathews with the PETA Foundation. "PETA is calling on LSU to honor Mike VI and spare future tigers a lifetime of misery by ending the live-mascot program for good."

LSU spokesperson Ernie Ballard released the following statement Tuesday about the letter:

"As Dr. Baker said yesterday, our primary concern right now is caring for Mike VI and making sure he gets the best possible medical treatment for his condition. This is not the time to discuss football season or a new tiger mascot. We are focused on Mike's health and well-being at this time."

Below is the letter that PETA and LSU Animal Advocates sent to LSU President F. King Alexander:

May 24, 2016

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