Social media helps fans get behind the scenes look at Mike VI

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POSTED: Monday, December 30, 2013 - 8:45pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 2:28pm

LSU's Mike VI needs your help. LSU and Mike are hoping to get to 30,000 likes on Mike VI's Facebook page before the Outback Bowl. Ginger Guttner, LSU School of Veterinary Medicine's spokesperson, said the page helps keep people informed about Mike VI and his predecessors, find out if he's going to a game, and get behind the scene pictures.

"Well Mike is the only live Tiger, living on a college campus, in the United States. Which already makes him pretty special. But, as far as, we can tell he is also the only live tiger college mascot that is on social media," Ginger Guttner said.

NBC33's Kris Cusanza got the opportunity to go behind the scenes with one of Mike's caretakers to see firsthand what it's like inside Mike's home.

During the day Mike plays and relaxes in his outdoor habitat next to the PMAC. He runs, and swims and shows off for visitors.

"I've never come across a tiger that is so people friendly. If there's a crowd upfront, and I'm trying to get him to come inside by myself, if he's going to stay where those people are," Macy Trosclair, LSU Veterinary School student, described.

Trosclair shares a special bond with big cat.

"Basically I come out here, Mike's been locked inside all night long and he is ready to go outside. I go check his yard. I go make sure it's clean from the night before, and then I let him outside and clean the indoor building," She said.

Trosclair also said sometimes she has to start Mike's day off extra early, because of her schedule, and Mike isn't always a happy camper in the morning.

"Oh he is not an early bird, that's for sure. Some mornings can be pretty early, depending upon what rotation we are on. The hardest thing about getting him up is just getting him off these shavings," she said. "He'll see me come, and he'll open one eye. He'll roll right back over and go to sleep."

Trosclair gets lots of questions from fans about working with Mike. Lots of people want to know how much he weighs.

"He weighs about 440 pounds right now and that's about average for him," Trosclair said. "He fluctuates throughout the year; he can get up to around 470 for 480 in the winter. In the summer he'll drop down to 415 or so."

Others want to know what Mike eats.

"He eats 25 pounds of meat a night," Trosclair says. "He only gets feed once a day in the evenings. He'll come inside, and he spends the night inside. "

Fans frequently ask her about what it's like on game days.

Trosclair explained that all depends on what Mike wants to do that day. The day begins with Mike inside his "night house" indoor facility.

Next, "I basically show up and open the doors. He basically has two hours to get in. If he does great he goes to the game. If he doesn't get in he stays behind in the air condition. We don't force him, we don't bribe him. We don't drug him. If I put a steak in there it wouldn't matter, he's not going to get in the trailer."

Guttner said if you want to learn more about Mike or have questions about Mike you can ask them on Mike's Facebook page.

You can also follow Mike on Twitter and Instagram.

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