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Say It Ain't So

Its'a sad day on LSU's campus. It appears that Mike V's 17-year run as LSU's beloved mascot is nearing an end. The current Mike took over the reign in 1990 and in the past 10 years, has presided over some of LSU's best football teams in history.

It's the "first stage of retirement" for Mike the Tiger, said David Baker, Mike's veterinarian. That means the student mascot will no longer try to get him to roar during football games at Tiger Stadium.

Baker said he noticed that Mike "didn't seem to be into it anymore" during last season. "It was more bothersome to him."

Mike, the fifth of that name and LSU's mascot since Mike IV was retired to the Greater Baton Rouge Zoo at age 15, has lost weight and muscle over the past 18 months but is still in reasonably good shape for an elderly tiger, and still has a "good attitude."

I like the fact that they allow Mike to retire instead of him possibly dying in his cage. It's good for two reasons: 1) He will no longer have to worry about being moved and taken to games. 2) LSU fans love Mike and it would crush them.
The death of Mike III in 1976 was so hard on students and faculty that the vet at the time, W. Sheldon Bivin, "said he would never allow another tiger to die on campus," Baker said.