PETA urged LSU to stop its use of live mascots at football games just hours after Tuesday’s death of Mike the Tiger, also known as Mike VI.
The animal rights activist organization, which has for years condemned LSU’s practice of using live mascots at football games, released a statement on the matter, according to The Times-Picayune:
“This sad day could mark a kind new beginning for LSU, where sensitive, intelligent tigers have been reduced to game-day props for decades,” PETA said in a statement reported by WBRZ. “PETA is calling on the university to honor Mike VI’s legacy by making him the last live mascot to be locked up in captivity and paraded around an unruly stadium. The last thing LSU should do is condemn yet another tiger to a lifetime of exploitation.”
LSU and Mike the Tiger’s veterinarian, Dr. David Baker, had announced before Mike VI’s death that a search for Mike VI’s replacement would be underway.
Dr. Baker said in a press conference days prior to Mike VI’s death that he and other doctors have learned a lot about tigers and the form of cancer that led to his death. He also noted that LSU students are “global citizens” from learning about tigers as a result of the animal’s presence at the university.
Mike the Tiger’s habitat includes a 20,000 square foot space, a pool, a night house, and a viewing area for visitors, The Times-Picayune reported.