BATON ROUGE - Just shy of three years since his arrival on the LSU campus, Mike VI, LSU's live Bengal tiger mascot, will turn five years old this Friday.
Mike VI was donated to LSU by Great Cats of Indiana, a nonprofit sanctuary and rescue facility for big cats and other large carnivores, located in Idaville, Ind. He was moved into his Habitat, north of Tiger Stadium on Aug. 25, 2007 and introduced to the LSU community a few days later on Sept. 1.
He was officially designated as the successor to Mike V on Sept. 8 and a ceremony was held six days later to honor the Mike V and dedicate the habitat to Mike VI. The tiger, formally known as "Roscoe", debuted in Tiger Stadium on the evening of the Florida-LSU football game on Oct. 6, 2007.
Like his predecessors, Mike V and Mike III, Mike VI has reigned over a national football championship.
Mike VI, who came to LSU when he was two, weighed 320 pounds upon his arrival. His current weight is 460 pounds and he is expected to reach approximately 500-600 pounds at maturity which takes place over the course of the next year.
Two of LSU's Tiger mascots (Mike I and Mike III) lived 19 years, Mike IV lived 20 years and nine months, while Mike V was a part of the LSU family for 17 years. The average lifespan for a tiger in the wild is about 8-10 years. A tiger in captivity, like Mike VI, can live 14-18 years.
Mike VI also has the advantage of living comfortably in the habitat which was completed in 2005. The 15,000 square feet habitat features lush planting, a large live oak tree, a waterfall and a stream. It is one of the largest and finest Tiger habitats in the United States.
Mike VI is most active in the morning and in the evening, sleeping most of the day in the shade or in his air conditioned home. He receives about 100,000 visitors each year to the North Stadium location in front of the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.