Today was move-in day on campus for students, and it seems that LSU has acquired another new resident:
That’s right — LSU has acquired it’s candidate to be Mike VII. Harvey the Tiger, of Okeechobee, Fla.
The tiger, “Harvey,” arrived on campus Aug. 15 and is currently being housed in the night house of the tiger habitat. The 11-month-old, male tiger must be quarantined in the night house for at least one week so that he can be observed by LSU veterinarians to ensure that he is healthy and a good fit for LSU. If that occurs, he will be formally introduced as the new mascot. Until that time, he is not Mike VII.
During the quarantine period, this rescue tiger will be acclimating to his new surroundings and will not be on view to the public or available for the media to photograph; his overall health must come first. Therefore, a photo of Harvey is attached so the LSU community can see him. Please note: Harvey is not Mike VII until he is formally introduced as the new mascot and released into his yard. If that occurs, LSU will notify the media and the public in advance.
Since Dr. David Baker, LSU’s attending veterinarian, will be busy caring for Harvey, and since Harvey is not Mike VII at this time, Dr. Baker will not be available for media interviews during the quarantine period. However, if Harvey becomes Mike VII, Dr. Baker will address the media and take questions at a news conference, which will be announced in advance.
Harvey was donated to LSU from a sanctuary in Okeechobee, Fla., called “Wild at Heart Wildlife Center.” Mikes IV, V and VI were also donated to LSU from rescue facilities. LSU has not purchased a tiger since Mike III in 1958, and LSU does not support the for-profit breeding of tigers. By providing a home for a tiger that needs one, LSU hopes to raise awareness about the problem of irresponsible breeding and the plight of tigers kept illegally and/or inappropriately in captivity in the U.S.
Mike VI went through a similar quarantine/acclimation process. If all goes well, Harvey could be introduced to the public as early as next weekend, Aug. 26-27 — although that is not official and speculative on my part.