It's official: LSU has a new live tiger mascot.
Mike VII, the tiger formerly known as “Harvey,” was in his new yard at LSU's tiger habitat on Monday morning, LSU announced on Twitter, the Advocate reported. He is an 11-month-old male Siberian-Bengal mix.
The tiger arrived on campus last week and was being housed in the habitat’s night house for observation during a trial period. He was donated to LSU by the Wild at Heart Wildlife Center, a Florida sanctuary.
The wildlife center, through its Facebook page, has expressed its appreciation for LSU giving one of its animals a home. On Wednesday, it thanked the Florida Wildlife Commission for recommending the facility to LSU.
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The Tiger Athletic Foundation donated about $950,000 for renovations and upgrades to the tiger habitat on campus, including a new synthetic rock that uses glycol to stay cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather, which will help keep the tiger comfortable.
LSU has had a live tiger mascot on campus since 1936. Mike VI died in October after a brief battle with a rare form of cancer.
In January, LSU announced the next Mike the Tiger would not be paraded around LSU football games as cheerleaders ride atop his golden cage — a major departure as the university seeks to simultaneously continue and update the decades-old tradition of keeping a live mascot on campus.
Read more about Mike VII at The Advocate.com.