Sadly, the end is near for one of the greatest — and most beautiful — live mascots in all of college football.
In May, LSU announced that Mike VI had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer but that, with “a new and highly sophisticated form of radiation therapy,” could “live comfortably” for another 1-2 years. Unfortunately that won’t be the case as a CT scan performed three days ago revealed that Mike’s tumor has resumed growth and the cancer has spread, the school announced Wednesday.
In its release, LSU writes that “[a]lthough the radiation treatment initially shrunk the tumor, the new CT scan revealed that the tumor, which is located on the right side of Mike’s head near his nose, has resumed growth and has encroached further into his nasal cavity.” Additional tumors were found in the tiger’s in his leg, throughout his lungs and elsewhere.
The prognosis is that Mike could live another 1-2 months, but the tiger “will be humanely euthanized before he succumbs to the cancer.”
“We will not allow Mike to suffer,” said Dr. David Baker, LSU’s Attending Veterinarian, in a statement. “We will monitor him closely every day and will humanely euthanize him when the time comes. This is about treating Mike with dignity, compassion and respect.”
The release adds that “Mike will be outside on days when he feels well enough to do so; he will be kept inside if his caretakers feel it is in his best interest.”
Mike VI is an 11-year-old Bengal tiger who has been at LSU since he was two. The school announced earlier this month Mike would not be seen on the field this year, but that fans could view the tiger in his habitat on game days this season.