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Mike VI - a quiet accession; but no coronation?September 2 2007 at 2:49 PM
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According to sporadic, low-key, inside-page news reports, and a brief glimpse of the cat in his quarters on local TV yesterday, LSU has quietly replaced the late Mike V with Mike VI (a handsome, 2-year-old, male tiger, formerly known as 'Roscoe') as the University's football mascot.
The current lack of headline coverage or fanfare surrounding this accession is arguably due to there having been opposition on the part of animal welfare activists to continuing the tradition of keeping captive wild animals as sports mascots. LSU was clearly determined to continue the tradition for another 20 years or so (the life expectancy of a captive tiger)
From all accounts, the LSU Tigers' 'Mike' now has nice, spacious quarters on which no expense has been spared, with a
simulated roaming habitat and even a pool (for, rarely among cats, tigers like to plunge and play in water). But animal cruelty activists are reportedly concened that it is nevertheless inhumane and stressful for the noble mammal, aloof and solitary by nature, to be paraded in a cage before thousands of cheering football fans; and to have his cage banged on in order to "make him roar".
Both sides of the argument have their advocates and perhaps some merit. 'Mike', born in captivity, cannot be "returned to the wild"; and will be loved in a way by many - and better cared for than most of the estimated thousands of tigers in captivity - for the rest of his life (which will probably be longer than most tigers live in the wild, where it can be no fun dying as an old, sick, or disabled tiger).
But will his captive existence as a football mascot be needlessly stressful and undignified; and therefore inhumane? What say you, Forum?
Having just spent a day at the renowned San Diego Zoo..
|September 2 2007, 4:01 PM |
I made s decision while there, I dont like to see animals in captivity, while they may be well cared for, it is obvious they are bored and out of their element. I understand why they cant be running around wild but gee they were there first. It reminds me of our streets here named after quail, beaver, deer & pheasant.. however one never see's one. See what I mean?
I can see both sides of the issue
|September 2 2007, 6:16 PM |
So, I'm not sure what I think. LOL He does have a beautiful home though.
|September 3 2007, 10:35 AM |
No longer has their eagle for those reasons. Not sure whether they lost one and did not replace, or found a better home for the one they had. I don't think they ever had a tiger, although that's their official mascot as well.
I ran this post over in the nola.com 'Animal Chat' forum; and learned that Mike VI...
|September 3 2007, 12:57 PM |
... has his own website: www.mikethetiger.com.
The last feline with his own website that I visited, a few years ago, was 'Socks' - the First Cat of Bill (POTUS 42) and Hillary Clinton.
All in all, the consensus in the animal forums so far seems to be that 'Mike' VI has one of the best habitats (his pool looks almost Olympic in size!) and will enjoy at least as good and humane a life as any tiger in captivity. He appears already to be fairly well acclimatized to interaction with crowds of humans and tolerant of their noise - rather like a parade horse.
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