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As part of his preparation for the upcoming LSU Football season, Mike VII, LSU's live mascot, is ready to go having had both of his COVID-19 shots!

Mike VII got his first shot from his veterinarian, Dr. David Baker, on July 16th and his second on August 6th. They've monitored Mike closely and he hasn't suffered any ill effects. The vaccine he was given was donated by a company called Zoetis, which has also provided 11,000+ doses of COVID vaccine to zoos, sanctuaries, etc... across the country.

If you're sitting there scratching your head wondering why we're vaccinating animals, there have been several instances where they've been found carrying SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans. Think about the number people who stop to see Mike VII on a daily basis, much less on game day, and there's your answer. SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in multiple tigers and lions at the Bronx Zoo and a snow leopard was carrying the virus at the San Diego Zoo. It's even been found in whitetail deer in four different states according to a research piece from the USDA published last month. This is a preventative measure to make sure we keep our live mascot safe and sound.

So, with LSU's first home game of the season coming up on Saturday, September 11th, 2021, hosting McNeese, will you be vaccinated and ready to cheer on the Tigers like Mike VII? If they end up requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test, will be like Mike and watch the Tigers live in Death Valley or will you opt for the comfort of your couch? Inquiring minds want to know!

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