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Mike VII Is Adapting Well To New Habitat

Eddy Perez/LSU
Eddy Perez/LSU

Just a week ago, his name was Harvey, and he was just another tiger at the Wild at Heart Wildlife Center in Okeechobee, Florida.  His name was Harvey then.  Now his name is Mike and he’s the most famous Tiger in Louisiana.

LSU formally introduced MIke VII to the world on Monday, just as students returned to classes for the Fall 2017 semester.  He’s now getting acclimated to his newly refurbished habitat on the Baton Rouge campus.

In case you’re wondering, Wild at Heart donated Harvey to the university.  LSU has not purchased a tiger since 1958 and does not support for-profit breeding of the animals. The USDA has licensed the habitat and animal care plan provided by the university and the habitat is inspected annually.

Prior to being rescued by Wild at Heart, Harvey had been bred as a “photo cub”. Photo cubs are sold to zoos which charge patrons to have their picture taken with a tiger cub.  After they reach 25 pounds, the zoos sell them, or give them away.  LSU was able to acquire Harvey because Wild at Heart is rehousing some of its rescues. He’s an 11-month-old Bengal-Siberian mix, and weighs 160 lbs.  When full grown he could top 500 pounds.

So far, it appears that Harvey and LSU are a perfect fit.  According to a story from the Louisiana Radio Network, Harvey is adjusting well to his new home.  He’s playful like any 11-month-old tiger cub.  But don’t be surprised if he’s not quite sure who “Mike” is yet.

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