LSU acquires possible Mike VII

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A potential Mike VII has arrived.

With students moving into residence halls, another new prospective member of the LSU community is also moving in this week – a possible new tiger mascot.

The tiger, "Harvey," arrived on campus August 15 and is currently being housed in the night house of the tiger habitat.

The 11-month-old, male tiger must be quarantined in the night house for at least one week to be observed by LSU verterinarians to ensure that he is healthy and a good fit for LSU. If that occurs, he will be formally introduced as Mike VII. Until then, he is not Mike the Tiger.

During the quarantine period, the rescue tiger will be acclimating to new surroundings and will not be on view to the public or media. LSU vets say his overall health must come first.

Harvey is not Mike VII until he is formally introduced as the new mascot and released into his yard.

Dr. David Baker, LSU's attending veterinarian, will be caring for Harvey.

Harvey was donated to LSU from a sanctuary in Okeechobee, Florida, called "Wild at Heart Wildlife Center." Mikes IV, V, and VI were also donated to LSU from rescue facilities.

LSU has not purchased a tiger since Mike III in 1958, and LSU does not support the for-profit breeding of tigers, according to a press release sent out by university relations.

By providing a home for a tiger that needs one, LSU hopes to raise awareness about the problem of irresponsible breeding and the plight of tigers kept illegally and/or inappropriately in captivity in the U.S.

The tiger habitat and LSU's animal care plan are licensed by the USDA. The facility, tiger and animal care programs are inspected annually to ensure that they comply with the Federal Animal Welfare Act and other USDA policies and guidelines.

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