Stop Using Live Tigers as Mascots at Louisiana State University

Target: William L. Jenkins, President/Chancellor at Louisiana State University

Goal: End Louisiana State University live mascot tradition

Huge football schools throughout the United States have the tradition of using live mascots to represent their universities. Ever since 1936, Louisiana State University has used live tigers to portray their mascots, the Fighting Tigers or the Bayou Bengals. Mike the Tiger is currently the sixth tiger that the university has hired and Mike VI should be their last one.

Louisiana State University’s first tiger, Mike I was kidnapped by another football team. The tiger was taken in his cage and moved to New Orleans. The cage was vandalized and spray painted with the word Tulane in green. The stress and danger inflicted on that tiger was irreversible and unacceptable. Mike I was mistreated and would not have been if he was not a caged mascot. With strong football rivalries, Mike VI and future mascots may also be in danger.

Using live animal mascots is a form of animal cruelty. These animals are locked up in small cages with no other companions. They are subjected to stares and taunts all day by students and employees of the university. Furthermore, these tigers and other big cats are often hired from organizations that do not take proper care of their animals as well. By hiring these animals, the universities are also indirectly supporting animal cruelty. On top of that, incorporating live animal mascots as a symbol of the university influences other universities to do the same.

Washington State University caught on to the trend and used the presence of a live tiger as motivation during the football team’s practices. Loyola Marymount University decided to hire a lion for the first day of classes. Both animals were subjected to poor conditions. These animals are active cats, and their cages did not provide any space for them to walk around. The animals were also left outside in hot conditions without shade.

Universities have a lot of school spirit and pride. However, their energy and passion may have overshadowed the more important issues at hand. These animals belong in the wild where they can roam freely and live with companions. They definitely do not deserve to be placed in these conditions merely to entertain people. Louisiana State University must  help protect these beautiful cats by ceasing to use live tigers to represent their school.


Dear William L. Jenkins, President/Chancellor at Louisiana State University,

I realize that using live tigers have been a tradition at your university since 1936. Louisiana State University has had six tigers to represent the school’s mascots, the Fighting Tigers or the Bayou Bengals. Although I respect your school spirit and passion, tigers do not deserve to be caged up and displayed as entertainment and it is about time that you put an end to this tradition. The very first tiger that the university had was kidnapped and mistreated by a rival school, and you cannot risk possible dangers for the current tiger, Mike VI.

Keeping these cats in cages is a form of animal cruelty. These animals naturally roam in the open, and they are not use to small confinements. On top of mistreatment and poor conditions, by having a live mascot, you are encouraging other schools to do the same. This can very much lead to a vicious domino effect in which more and more of these beautiful big cats are subjected to small cages merely to be entertainment for the students.

You must put an end to this tradition and help protect future tigers.


[Your Name Here]

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  1. These animals belong in their natural habitats!!! College students should be focusing on their academics, not this kind of cruel, disrespecting, obsolete travesty towards these magnificent, defenseless animals.

  2. Robert Ortiz says:

    This needs to be stopped ASAP! Animals should not be used for entertainment.

    • Animals should not be used for entertainment?

      Then what are pets to you?

      You do know that all of the mike the tigers that have been at LSU have lived much longer lives than in the wild.
      This “petition” to remove mike the tiger is nothing but a joke

      Before pushing to change something look into the facts
      the tigers are not crammed into cages, mike vi`s habitat is 15,000 square feet and is filled with things that would be found in the wild, such as water plants grass etc.

      and mike 1 being stolen, that is practically impossible to happen again, and hasn’t. the tigers are not purchased from organizations that dont take care of their animals. LSU has a retiring plan as he grows older which is:
      Stage 1: He no longer participates in pre-game events such as the roar before the game.
      Stage 2: He stops attending the games altogether.
      Stage 3: He retires to another location.

      i hope this has been informative to you all.

  3. For every action there is a reaction. According to the law of karma, if we cause

    pain and suffering to other living beings, we must endure pain and suffering in

    return, both individually and collectively. We reap what we sow, in this life and

    the next, for nature has her own justice. No one can escape the law of karma.

    • Before getting all Zen, go to the live feed of Mike the Tiger in his habitat to see how well he lives.

  4. my goodness the whole world is fighting for animals in general not to be used in entertainment,specifically the tiger-this is down right animal cruelty no animal does tricks by nature…STOP THIS ABUSMENT NOW!!!

    • This tiger has the best care and is in a well cared for natural habitat. He was bred in captivity (not by LSU) so where do you think you would release him. He is NEVER forced into a cage. I hope you are this concerned for homeless people.

  5. Valerie Nordberg says:

    Football is football. Tigers are tigers. They have nothing in common so long live the difference!

  6. You people are so ignorant. Mike was bred in captivity. He can’t survive in the wild. He lives in a three million dollar habitat thats 15000 square feet with a river, waterfall, wading pool and rocks to climb on. If he wasn’t at LSU he’d be in some other circus cage or zoo. Instead hes at LSU where hes worshiped and has access to the best veterinary care in the state. Obviously you haven’t thought this out.

  7. You obviously haven’t seen Mike the Tiger’s natural habitat. He is not treated cruelly nor is he ever forced into the cage.

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