The old enclosure for Mike the Tiger was only 2,000 square feet in size with minimal amenities. The new environment created for Mike is over 15,000 square feet in size with lush planting, a large Live Oak tree, a beautiful waterfall and a stream evolving from a rocky backdrop overflowing with plants and trees. The habitat has, as a backdrop, an Italianate tower, a campanile, that creates a visual bridge to the Italianate architectural vernacular that is the underpinning of the image of the entire beautiful LSU campus. This spectacular new habitat features state-of-the-art technologies, research, conservation and husbandry programs. It is, in essence, one of the largest and finest Tiger habitats in the United States.
From the future Sports Plaza, the visitor will see the sixty foot tall Italianate Tower, or Campanile, behind the arches of the viewing wall. A finely woven stainless steel mesh spans the arches giving fantastic open views into Mike's new exhibit, imparting to the visitor the feeling of seeing Mike through one of the arched loggias that surround the beautiful quadrangles of the LSU Campus.
A woven stainless steel mesh top has been added to the exhibit for additional protection for Mike and to prevent mischievous students or visitors from throwing things into the tiger habitat.
Strolling along the arched viewing wall, the visitor has spectacular views to a lush site experience with Mike the Tiger. The crushing sound of the waterfall gives excitement and sparkle to the space, with the stream actually being a swimming pond that, through glass paneled arches, allows underwater views.
A live Oak Tree gives a sense of grandness and maturity to the habitat. The campanile at the rear of the habitat is a perfect photo opportunity, juxtaposing Mike against an Italiante campanile, similar to the icon that serves as the logo for LSU.