Mike V, the official mascot of Louisiana State University, passed away this morning due to renal failure.

Funeral plans are underway, and pictures from the informal wake are below.  But there is no word yet as to whether colleagues UGA VI, Smokey IX, or Bevo XIV will be in attendance.

As wikipedia explains, Mike V was originally named Stevie, until he was donated by Dr. Thomas and Caroline Atchison of the Animal House Zoological Park in Mouton, Alabama. Born on October 18, 1989, the 7-pound baby tiger was introduced to LSU fans at a basketball game in February 1990. In his 17-year reign, Mike V saw an LSU football team win another National Championship (in 2003) and received both a new trailer and a massive renovation of his enclosure.

In March 2007, Mike V officially began a three-stage retirement. His personal vet, David Baker, cited his age and health as reasons. Mike V retained his mascot status and lived in his on-campus habitat until his death.

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Where are you Mike the Tiger?

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