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Sunday, September 22, 2019

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LSU's live tiger mascot diagnosed with rare form of cancer

LSU's live tiger mascot diagnosed with rare form of cancer

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The sixth live tiger to serve as Louisiana State University's mascot has been diagnosed with a rare and inoperable form of cancer.

Veterinarians plan to treat Mike VI's spindle cell sarcoma with radiation therapy that could extend the 10-year-old tiger's life by one or two more years, Dr. David Baker of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine said at a news conference Monday.

Baker, Mike's veterinarian, said the tiger has a lemon-sized tumor in its skull but doesn't appear to be in pain and hasn't shown any changes in its behavior.

The 420-pound tiger was 2 years old when it arrived at LSU, donated to the school by an Indiana animal sanctuary. It lives in a 15,000-square-foot enclosure and yard next to Tiger Stadium.

Baker said Mike probably developed the tumor a few months ago and likely would die within a few months if its cancer isn't treated. It will undergo a new form of radiation therapy that apparently has never been performed on a tiger before, he added.

LSU says Mike is one of only two live tiger college mascots in the U.S. and is the only one living on a college campus.

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