LSU Tigers mascot Mike VI has cancer, won't take field this season

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Diagnosed with cancer,LSU'slive tiger mascot, Mike VI, won't take the field during home football games thisseason but will remain in his habitat instead.

The university, in a news release Tuesday, said that in light of Mike's recent terminal cancer diagnosis, no attempt will be made to load him into his trailer. Instead, officials say he'll be let out into his outdoor habitat early on game day so Tigers fans can see and visit with him throughout the day.

"LSU understands that the tradition of having Mike on the field on game day is important; however, Mike's health, safety and well-being are always our top priority," the statement said.

In June, Mike received stereotactic radiotherapytreatment for spindle cell sarcoma -- a lemon-sized swelling that had nearly closed one of his eyes -- at the Mary Bird Perkins-Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center in Baton Rouge.

Since the treatment, officials say the tumor has shrunk and his attitude, weight and appetite are normal. Still, they say the "radiation-resistant cells in the tumor remaining in the tumor will resume growth" and Mike remains terminally ill, with perhaps up to two years to live.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.