Born October 19, 1989, Mike V was given to LSU by Dr. Thomas and Caroline Atchison of the Animal House Zoological Park in Moulton, Alabama. Mike's original name was Stevie. Mike V was introduced to LSU fans at the LSU-Alabama basketball game in February 1990. He was moved into his cage on April 30, 1990, and thus began his 17 year reign as Mike V.
Mike V's first road trip was to the Superdome in December 1991 for a basketball game against Texas (which with the help of Shaquille O'Neal, the Tigers won, 84-83). By September 1997, the trailer used to transport all tigers since Mike II had worn out, after forty years of use, and a beautiful new trailer was graciously donated to LSU by Doug Guidroz and Rick Vallet. On January 1, 2002, Mike V once again ventured to the Superdome in New Orleans, this time to support the football team in its game against the University of Illinois in the Nokia Sugar Bowl. Shortly after the group left Baton Rouge, freezing rain began to fall. Not wanting to risk being involved in an accident if the roads froze the tiger team elected to leave the game ahead of the crowd. It snowed nearly all the way back to LSU. Mike reached the campus just as the game ended in a 48-34 victory for the Tigers. Mike had enjoyed a long and eventful day, but rather than going directly into his house, Mike first investigated the soft, cold, white powder that had coated his entire enclosure. He cautiously smelled it, tasted it, pawed at it and slipped on it. After several minutes of investigation, he lost interest and retired to his warm house for a good night's sleep.
Being hand-raised seemed to have a positive effect on Mike Vís disposition; of all the tigers that served as LSUís mascot, he had been described as the easiest to handle, with a calm and friendly disposition
Mike V lived his last years in great comfort, thanks to the support of thousands of LSU fans worldwide who contributed to the ďI Like MikeĒ campaign to rebuild his habitat. Mike V moved into the new habitat on August 27, 2005. Mike V also received the finest care over the years, led by Dr. David Baker and the staff, faculty, and students at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine.
Mike V passed away on Friday, May 18 at 2:23 a.m.
During his tenure, Mike V reigned over a football national championship, five baseball national championships and a remarkable 23 track and field championships. He saw LSU sports teams win 37 Southeastern Conference titles from 1990 to 2007.