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Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- A radiation burn can be seen on LSU's live mascot, Mike VI, as he greets visitors at his habitat, Wednesday, July 13, 2016, on LSU's campus in Baton Rouge, La. A campus spokesperson said that the melanin in his skin, which is the dark patch on his face, will likely remain. It's one way the body protects normally haired areas from excessive sunlight; much like an extreme 'tan.' Because of the radiation, the treated area causes Mike to itch his face and prompt additional hair loss. They do not know if the hair on his face will regrow, but if it does, it will likely be thin and lightly colored.


Mike the Tiger will stay in his home habitat during home football games for the 2016 season, LSU said in a news release Tuesday.

"In light of Mike's recent cancer diagnosis," the university said, "no attempt will be made to load him into his trailer for the current season."

The live mascot received stereotactic radiotherapy June 1 at the Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center for spindle cell sarcoma, the university said.

"It appears that the tumor in Mike's face responded to the radiation treatment and has shrunk in size," according to the release. "Mike's attitude, weight and appetite are normal, and he does not appear to be in any pain.

"Eventually the radiation-resistant cells remaining in the tumor will resume growth," the release says. "As for time frames, it is estimated that without treatment Mike would have lived for just one or two months; with treatment, perhaps one to two years."

Mike will remain in his habitat during home games, the release says. He will be released into his yard early for Tiger fans to see him all day.

"Mike's health, safety and well-being are always our top priority," the university said.