As we all know, Mike the Tiger VI has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and with that information in the news, PETA has come forward and demands that LSU stop the tradition of having live Bengal tigers as LSU's mascots.

Mike the Tiger VI is 11 years old and lives in a specially built, 14,000-square foot habitat outside of Tiger Stadium and makes regular appearances at LSU football games. A lot of people seem to think that he is very well taken care of.

But PETA and other LSU Animal Advocates think otherwise. Therefore, they sent a letter to LSU President Fieldon King Alexander stating why they want the SEC school to discontinue the use of live animals as mascots. Here is the letter.

May 24, 2016

Fieldon King Alexander


Louisiana State University

Dear Mr. Alexander,


I'm writing on behalf of PETA, which has more than 5 million members and supporters worldwide, including tens of thousands in Louisiana, to offer our sympathies about Mike the tiger's cancer diagnosis. I would also like to request that you consider the following information about how tigers suffer in captivity and make Mike VI Louisiana State University's (LSU) last live mascot.


Captive big cats (who naturally shun human contact) are deprived of everything that is natural and important to them. They live in perpetual states of confinement, discomfort, and stress and, at LSU games, are subjected to a constant barrage of disorienting lights and activity. They often become despondent and develop neurotic and self-destructive types of behavior, including pacing, bar-biting, and self-mutilation. Tigers are particularly unsuited to captivity because they require large areas to roam and opportunities to swim and climb. Even under the best of care, a tiger's most basic instincts are thwarted in captivity, and continuing to use live animals as mascots perpetuates the cruel notion that sensitive, complex wild animals should be caged and put on display like championship trophies.


People go to LSU football games because they want to see top college athletes playing the best football in the country, not because there's a caged tiger sitting on the sidelines. I hope you agree that it's time to recognize society's growing distaste for animal exhibition and bring a new tradition to LSU of using only willing, costumed human mascots. Orcas don't belong in tanks, elephants don't belong in the circus, and tigers do not belong in stadiums. In his sickly condition, Mike VI should not be wheeled out to games this coming season. Generations of tigers have given LSU everything they have—isn't it time for LSU to give something back? We hope to hear from you soon.


Thank you.

Respectfully yours,

Lewis Crary

Captive Wildlife Specialist

Captive Animal Law Enforcement | PETA Foundation

Cheyenne Fouts

Secretary and Event Coordinator | LSU Animal Advocates

So what do you think? Should universities stop using live animals as mascots?

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