Mike the Tiger

Freshman orientation isn’t just for students. It’s the first day of the fall semester at LSU, and one of the school’s new faces is Mike VII, their new live mascot. Mike VII has been placed in a state-of-the-art habitat that received $950,000 of enhancements to help him stay healthy outside of his natural habitat.

Here’s Mike adorably getting acquainted with his new living space.

While it’s tough to see a wild animal behind bars, LSU adopted Mike VII from a rescue facility to avoid supporting the for-profit trade of exotic animals.

Mike VII is the latest in a long line of LSU live mascots, a tradition that goes all the way back to 1936. In May 2016, Mike VI was diagnosed with spindle cell sarcoma, and he passed away last October. The school had faced some trouble getting a new mascot as animal welfare activists resisted the live mascot tradition, but Mike VII, an 11-month-old Siberian-Bengal mix whose birth name was Harvey, arrived on campus last week.

Unlike previous mascots, Mike will not make appearances at football games.

[NCAA | Photo: LSU Athletics]

About Jesse Kramer

Jesse is a writer and editor for The Comeback. He has also worked for SI.com and runs The Catch and Shoot, a college basketball website based in Chicago. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Follow Jesse on Twitter @Jesse_Kramer.