BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) – A new Care2 petition is calling on LSU to release Mike VII to a sanctuary and cease to have a live tiger mascot in the future.
As of Wednesday night, the petition had more than 35,000 signatures of the 40,000 goal. The petition was started by animal rights activists after Mike VII was unveiled on the first day of class for the fall 2018 semester.
“While the university has made efforts to improve the quality of the tiger’s enclosure, increasing its size and adding a variety of outdoor activities, it is cruel to sentence a tiger to such captivity. Animals are not here for our amusement,” the petition reads, in part.
Mike VII, LSU’s current mascot, was adopted from Wild at Heart Wildlife Center, formerly called Animal Adventures, in Okeechobee, Florida. Back in August of 2017, The Advocate released a report detailing “unsafe and unsanitary conditions and records-keeping violations” at the facility.
Care2 created a previous petition back in 2016 when Mike VI died, calling for the school to stop using live animals as mascots. That petition had more than 142,000 signatures.
“By perpetuating the live mascot, they are participating in exotic animal trade,” said Debra Leahy, an expert in captive wildlife protection with the Humane Society of the United States.