Mike VI has passed away; memorial service set for Wednesday - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Mike VI has passed away; memorial service set for Wednesday

Mike VI (Source: WAFB) Mike VI (Source: WAFB)
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

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A memorial service will be held for LSU’s live tiger mascot, Mike VI, who passed away Tuesday, Oct. 11.

Mike VI was born on July 23, 2005 and adopted by LSU in 2007. He was 11 years old at the time of his passing. 

Mike VI, the beloved tiger mascot for the LSU Tigers, was transferred to hospice care Monday. Officials said Mike was humanely euthanized in his night house by LSU's Attending Veterinarian David Baker, DVM, Ph.D. 

"There will not be a formal memorial service for Mike VI, but fans are encouraged to share their memories, stories and photos on social media using #MikeVI," states a press release. 

LSU's Student Government announced Tuesday afternoon that it will host a memorial service at 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 12 in front of Mike VI's habitat. Students and the community are invited to attend and share favorite memories of the beloved mascot. Students from the Tiger Tenors acapella group will now be performing the Alma Mater. 

"Our hearts are heavy today as a great symbol of our University passed on," said SG president Zack Faircloth. "Mike taught us how to fight like tigers and we are forever grateful for the opportunity to make him a part of our lives as LSU students." 

Mike VI was diagnosed with spindle cell sarcoma in May 2016. On June 1, he received a round of radiation therapy, which initially showed positive results. On Monday, October 3, Mike VI was taken in for a follow-up CT scan. 

"The findings were not encouraging," Dr. Baker explained. "The tumor has resumed growth and has blocked his right sinus cavity, which caused an infection that he was treated for recently. He has developed small nodules in the skin of his right leg, base of his neck and elsewhere. They are small tumors similar to the one that is in his head. X-rays revealed he has multiple tumors in his lungs. All of this shows that the cancer has obviously spread." 

Dr. Baker said the aggressive nature of the cancer is unlike any he has seen before. He added that the university has asked for him to begin the process of scouting for a new, male tiger. 

The PETA Foundation's associate director of captive animal law enforcement, Rachel Mathews, released the following statement Tuesday evening: 

This sad day could mark a kind new beginning for LSU, where sensitive, intelligent tigers have been reduced to game-day props for decades. PETA is calling on the university to honor Mike VI's legacy by making him the last live mascot to be locked up in captivity and paraded around an unruly stadium. The last thing LSU should do is condemn yet another tiger to a lifetime of exploitation.

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