LSU’s Tiger Mascot Is Diagnosed With Inoperable Cancer

Jonathan Bachman / AP

Louisiana State University's live tiger mascot, Mike VI, has been diagnosed with a rare, inoperable type of cancer, officials announced Monday.

The lemon-sized tumor in Mike's skull was discovered earlier in May after staff noticed swelling in his face. But so far, Mike doesn't appear to be in pain and hasn't shown any behavioral changes. The cancer is also unlikely to spread to other areas of the body, the school said.

Alex Brandon / AP

« He's still tearing bushes up in his yard, playing with his ball, » Dr. David Baker of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine said.

Veterinarians plan to treat Mike's spindle cell sarcoma with radiation therapy, which could extend the 10-year-old tiger's life by one or two more years. The typical lifespan for a tiger in captivity is 14 to 18 years, Baker added.

Gerald Herbert / AP

Mike was 2 years old when he was donated to LSU by an animal sanctuary in Indiana. The 420-pound tiger lives in a 15,000-square-foot enclosure next to Tiger Stadium.

Two of LSU’s previous tiger mascots lived to be 19 years, and another to 20 years old.

Updates on Mike's health will be posted to his Facebook page.

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