OCT 20, 2016 4:20 AM PDT

Saying Goodbye To Mike


While most schools have animals for mascots, not all of them keep a live version of the team namesake on campus. Students at LSU however have come to know and love their very own mascot, Mike, the Tiger. Over the years there have been 6 different tigers named Mike who lived on the campus in Baton Rouge. The most recent, a Bengal-Siberian mix, Mike VI, died recently from cancer. While cancer is not unheard of in tigers, the form of the disease that Mike had, spindle cell carcinoma, is relatively rare in tigers. It normally starts as a lesion on the skin and progresses to internal organs. Spindle cell tumor and spindle cell sarcoma are descriptive names based on the long, narrow appearance of the cells under the microscope. Spindle cell tumor is not a specific diagnosis or a specific type of cancer.

In May of this year it was announced that Mike the Tiger had a tumor on his nose and part of his face. At that time, veterinarians had planned a course of cutting edge radio therapy called Stereotactic Radio Therapy or SRT. It's a method where the radiation is delivered almost directly to the tumor site, minimizing damage to surrounding tissues. The treatment was carried out at Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center, a treatment center for humans, but no patients or staff seemed to mind the addition of Mike to their patient roster. In early October LSU officials announced that the treatment was not working and on October 11th, Mike was humanely euthanized, after having been placed in hospice care in his enclosure. No service was planned, but many visitors and students left flowers and notes.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
JUL 20, 2020
Space & Astronomy
How Do Astronauts Have Fun in Space?
JUL 20, 2020
How Do Astronauts Have Fun in Space?
Scientists who inhabit the International Space Station (ISS) typically have 12-hour shifts. These include two and a half ...
JUL 27, 2020
Neuroscience
Bigger Brains Linked to More Manual Dexterity in Apes
JUL 27, 2020
Bigger Brains Linked to More Manual Dexterity in Apes
Although people are very skilled at using their hands, they take a long time to master how to use them. Meanwhile, for m ...
SEP 10, 2020
Plants & Animals
Saving Myanmar's Critically Endangered Turtles
SEP 10, 2020
Saving Myanmar's Critically Endangered Turtles
New images of hatchling Burmese roofed turtles have renewed hope to save this critically endangered species. Late last m ...
SEP 11, 2020
Health & Medicine
Trans Fat Regulations Protect Three Billion People Worldwide
SEP 11, 2020
Trans Fat Regulations Protect Three Billion People Worldwide
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released a progress report on its five-year initiative for the global elimi ...
SEP 24, 2020
Plants & Animals
Cuvier's Beaked Whale Sets New Diving Record
SEP 24, 2020
Cuvier's Beaked Whale Sets New Diving Record
Marine mammals are uniquely adapted to dive to incredible depths. New research from Duke University Marine Laboratory do ...
NOV 12, 2020
Plants & Animals
Noise Pollution Threatens Norway's Orcas
NOV 12, 2020
Noise Pollution Threatens Norway's Orcas
Orca pods heavily depend on vocal communication for survival. Their unique ability to communicate with other pod members ...
Loading Comments...