Mike VI's health has declined enough that he will no longer be allowed in the yard of his habitat for public viewing, his handlers said Monday. 

LSU's live tiger mascot, whose body is riddled with cancerous tumors, will be kept inside in his night house in what his veterinarian described as a "hospice" setting. At some point, when Mike's veterinarian determines that the tiger is suffering, he will be "humanely euthanized." 

Last week, Mike's LSU veterinarian David Baker announced that a previously diagnosed tumor has spread throughout the tiger's body. He said the 11-year-old tiger had only one or two months left to live. 

In May, caretakers found a rare, lemon-sized tumor behind Mike's right eye that was determined to be a terminal. LSU Veterinary School in conjunction with Mary Bird Perkins-Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center treated Mike with stereotactic radiation therapy which initially shrank the tumor. 

But a CT scan earlier this month found that the initial tumor resumed growth, and smaller, nodule-like tumors were found in Mike's leg, on his neck and throughout his lungs. 

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Last week, Mike was said to be in a comfortable condition and was allowed to remain in his yard for fans to say their goodbyes. 

"As Dr. Baker said in the press conference, once Mike began to decline he would be transitioned to hospice care," said Ginger Guttner, a spokeswoman for the Veterinary school. "He will not be outside any more. Dr. Baker will continue to monitor him and will make the decision to humanely euthanize him when the time comes." 

Baker previously said he's begun the search to find a live tiger cub to serve as LSU's new mascot.

Some hoping to pay one last visit to Mike were unable to do so because the tiger was already moved to hospice care.

 

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Follow Rebekah Allen on Twitter, @rebekahallen.