It has been a long, dark time for the faithful since the passing of the great Mike VI on October 11th. But our journey through the wilderness will soon reach it’s end. After months of searching for a candidate that fit LSU’s specific criteria, a potential successor to the throne has finally been found.
David Baker, DVM, Ph.D., LSU’s Attending Veterinarian, has identified a tiger at a rescue facility that could become Mike VII. This juvenile, male rescue tiger is currently 9 months old and weighs approximately 160 pounds. The tiger has both Siberian and Bengal characteristics.
Starting in April 2017, LSU’s tiger habitat began undergoing updates, which are scheduled to be completed in August. The tiger cannot be transported to LSU until the updates are complete. The current plan is to have the tiger arrive mid-August. Once the tiger arrives, he will be kept in the night house for approximately one week for quarantine and acclimation; he will not be visible to the public during this time. If the quarantine/acclimation period goes well, the tiger will be released into his yard, at which time he will be declared Mike VII. LSU will announce in advance the day and time that the tiger will be out in his yard for the first time.
LSU cannot state at this time exactly when the tiger will arrive or when he will be introduced to the LSU community, as these details depend upon construction completion, travel arrangements and the quarantine/acclimation period.
This young tiger is in need of a new home. He currently resides at a sanctuary formerly known as “Animal Adventures” in Okeechobee, Fla.; this facility has undergone a change in ownership and is now “Wild at Heart Wildlife Center.” In an effort to improve the facility and operation, and reestablish compliance with state and federal animal care regulations, the new owner has initiated several improvements, including reducing the number of resident animals, requiring many of its animals to be sent elsewhere. This tiger is being donated to LSU by this facility.
It’s great know that LSU was able to find a Tiger in the kind of situation they were hoping for as it continues on it’s path towards becoming an accredited Tiger sanctuary. From the wording of the release, it would appear that the finding of this potential Mike might be a bit ahead of schedule, as major work continues on the refurbishment of his habitat, set to complete later this month.