He was playful and full of life. He knew the fans and the fans loved him. He was especially great around the kids, always giving them exactly what they came for, which was to see the live tiger in action, jumping through the water, walking right up to them at the glass, and having true spirit through it all.
But sadly, Mike VI was diagnosed with cancer four months ago. He was taken to Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center for radiation and other cancer treatment. Just a few days ago, he was taken to the Vet School on campus where it was reported that the cancer had returned and spread.
He spent the last few days of his life in the habitat he had grown to know and love. The fans came to offer flowers and take pictures. Finally, he was taken to hospice where he was humanely euthanized.
Great Cats of Indiana actually donated Mike VI as a rescue cat when he was 2 years old. During his 9 years at LSU, he was treated very well with personalized care from doctors and interns who attended LSU. Dr. David Baker provided Mike VI with personal veterinarian attention while two student interns on a two year rotation provided the day to day care a cat of Mike’s size needs.
Getting Ready To Pounce
He was definitely playful. If you caught him at the right time, he would sneak up on you and pounce from behind. You had nothing to worry about though. A huge wall of glass separated you, besides the fact that he was gentle as a cub.
Strolling The Grounds
The facilities where he was kept belonged to only him. In fact, they had just completed the LSU Tiger Habitat and he was the first tiger introduced there. At this point, they are looking for a Mike VII, named to honor Mike Chambers, LSU’s athletic trainer when the first Mike was purchased for $750 in 1936.