Mike the Tiger receives COVID-19 vaccination
BATON ROUGE - As an increasing number of Louisiana's population receive COVID-19 vaccinations, one of the state's most beloved four-legged citizens has also been vaccinated.
According to a Monday news release from Louisiana State University, Mike VII, LSU’s live tiger mascot, received the final shot of two COVID-19 vaccination doses on Thursday, August 6.
The vaccination was administered by his veterinarian, Dr. David Baker.
LSU says the doses were donated by Zoetis, which is providing zoos and select institutions with more than 11,000 of its COVID-19 vaccine to help protect the health and well-being of more than 100 animals.
LSU reports that the four-year-old mascot has not shown any adverse effects from the vaccine.
The precaution of vaccinating Mike VII comes after a 2020 incident involving lions and tigers at the Bronx Zoo that were diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans.
Experts believe the animals contracted the virus from zookeepers.
For this reason, in 2020 LSU put up barricades around the Tiger Habitat to keep visitors at least 10 feet from Mike VII.
Now that Mike's been vaccinated, the barricades will be removed the week of Aug. 17, LSU says.
Mike VII was donated to LSU from “Wild at Heart Wildlife Center” in Okeechobee, Fla and became part of the LSU Family Aug. 15, 2017.
He turns five on September 13.