Top Image: Mandy Samson
LSU has a new live tiger mascot, but what about the kitties who came before him? We compiled a little walk down memory lane thanks to LSU’s History of Mike page.
The very first live tiger mascot was brought to campus in October 1936 at the tender age of one. He was purchased from the Little Rock Zoo for $750 (25 cents per student). He died in 1956, but his pelt is over at the Louisiana Museum of Natural History.
This Mike is without a doubt the most mysterious of LSU’s live tiger mascots. Mike II was born at The Audubon Zoo in 1956 and brought to campus that same year. According to legend, he died at eight months old of pneumonia. Another tiger around the same age soon took his place, but died in 1958.
This Mike came to campus in 1958 when he was less than a year old. He died of pneumonia in 1976 following the school’s only losing football season during his reign.
The most mischievous of all the Mikes, Mike IV once escaped from his enclosure after pranksters cut the chain and lock keeping him in. He was eventually found on the Bernie Moore Track Stadium and shot with a tranquilizer pistol, then brought back to his enclosure. In his old age, he was brought to the Baton Rouge Zoo and died in 1995. Mike IV was at the university from 1976-1990.
Mike V came to the university at just four months old. He was donated to LSU and remained as the school’s mascot until 2007, when he died of renal failure. His ashes are at the Andonie Museum on LSU’s campus.
The most recent Mike came to LSU at two years old in 2007 and was debuted at the Florida vs. LSU game (LSU won). Last year, he was diagnosed with cancer and was humanely euthanized in October 2016 following treatment.
Mike VII (Harvey)
There’s a new tiger on LSU’s campus — Mike VII. Formerly known as “Harvey,” he’s an 11-month-old tiger from Okeechobee, Florida. He’s pretty cute, as we’re sure you can tell.
Mike the Tiger Images: LSU