Mike the tiger has played an integral part in LSU's football celebrations since the 1970s. But the traditions surrounding Mike - and there have been a few Mikes over the years - have been decried by many as cruelty. While Mike does live in a 15,000-square-foot habitat, he's been put into a cage - with the school's cheerleaders on top - before games so that he can make his grand entrance onto the field before taking up residence outside the opposing team's locker room. However, Mike hasn't felt up to attending the games this year, much to the fans' dismay. To the credit of Mike's vet, the tiger hasn't been forced into his trailer - causing angry fans to suggest using a cattle prod-like device on the big cat to get him to move. In the old days, Mike used to travel with the team as well, but after his cage fell into highway traffic on the way to a game in 1970, he's only traveled for big games, such as the Sugar Bowl. Fans used to be encouraged to bang on his cage to make him roar, although that tradition was finally stopped after causing an uproar from activists.