"What she embodies is kind of the whole captive wildlife cycle," Thies told The Dodo in June. "Rarely, do these big cats that are born in captivity live out their lives where they are born. They get traded and passed around. That's really what has happened to Lilly."
Massillon Washington High School, however, has kept live animals for the last 45 years - and will likely keep that tradition all-too alive.
Along the way, these institutions teach the worst kind of lesson.
"It also sends really the wrong message to young people - these students who are going to this college - that it's OK for humans to use animals as entertainment, however they want, whenever they want, in whatever ways they want," Bass says.
And it's unlikely to end anytime soon.
"The fact that someone will take these cubs off the hands of the breeders just entices them to turn around and breed more and more cubs," Bass says.
Even Mike the Tiger isn't just Mike. He's actually Mike VI. As in, the sixth animal mascot at Louisiana State University. And there will likely be a Mike VII.