I have not made the journey east to see Mike VII. I am sure at some time during the coming weeks I will find myself wandering around the LSU campus in Baton Rouge and I will stop in to offer my personal welcome to the university's new live mascot.

While Mike VII loves visitors there is something that we need to know about our visits that might seem harmless to us but could be very detrimental to Mike's overall health. That something has to do with live animals and stuffed animals. Don't bring them to Mike's habitat, it's not good for him.

The live animal ban should make sense. Bringing a smaller animal and waving it in front of a Tiger is just mean. Remember, he's a tiger. Tigers eat smaller animals. Also, stuffed animals need to be left in the car or put in the backpack. Mike is pretty smart but he can't quite distinguish between a stuffed animal and a midday snack.

Officials with LSU say the greatest danger stuffed and live animals pose is that MIke might lunge at his enclosure attempting to get to the animal in question. This could cause an injury specifically to his teeth.

It turns out dental problems are the number one cause of death in tigers. Since we don't want Mike VII to give way to Mike VIII just yet, let's keep those pets and stuffed animals away from his enclosure.

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