With a new Mike the Tiger possibly arriving in August, LSU has begun a flurry of repairs and improvements to the habitat he will call home.
On Friday, construction crews were breaking up concrete in the habitat's pool, which is scheduled to get a new lining. Mike VI, who died in October after battling cancer, frequently swam in the pool.
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LSU said in January that the university expects to have a new tiger by August, in time for football season.
But the next tiger will not attend home football games like his predecessors did. And if LSU has its way, his home may have the title of tiger sanctuary.
The next Mike the Tiger will not be paraded around LSU football games as cheerleaders ride a…
LSU timed the search for the next tiger around the current renovations. A list of repairs piled up after Mike VI died, LSU officials have said.
LSU veterinarian David Baker said the university will transform the center column that holds up the mesh above the habitat to look more like a tree, add a hot and cold rock that can warm up or cool down the tiger as he strolls outside, repaint chain link fencing and repair some night house structures.
Private donations collected by the Tiger Athletic Foundation will pay for the renovations, including royalty money from Baker's book about the live mascot's history.
Photos: Mike VI mourned at memorial service for beloved LSU tiger
Students, faculty, staff and visitors gather at the Mike the Tiger habitat during a memorial service, Wednesday, October 12, 2016, for the late Mike VI who passed away on Tuesday following a four month battle with terminal cancer at LSU in Baton Rouge, La.