Plans to add a live tiger at Missouri games dividing student groups

Hey Bevo, Ralphie, Boomer and Sooner. How about some company as far as live mascots in the Big 12?

Missouri students are mulling the idea of bringing a live tiger to future Missouri games. The issue, according to the Missouri student newspaper, The Maneater, has proven divisive with the Facebook group "NO to Mizzou buying a Tiger to have at sporting events!" has 997 members. The group "Students and Alumni in Support of a Real Mizzou Tiger," has 1,306 members.

The Mizzou Tigers for Tigers student group held an informational meeting recently about domesticated and wild tigers and also aimed to persuade its audience against the idea of buying a tiger for MU.

"We are grounded in the irony that while we are surrounded by great pride for our MU Tigers, tigers in the wild are going extinct," Mizzou Tigers for Tigers president Stacey Winkeler told The Maneater.

The state of Missouri currently has no laws for the ownership of tigers. Mizzou Tigers for Tigers is lobbying for Missouri legislation that would require the Missouri Department of Agriculture to enforce standardization of ownership, transportation, breeding, identification, location, protection from the public, husbandry, health care and an account of all deaths of tigers.

A more likely scenario would be for the school and its athletic department to co-sponsor a tiger at the St. Louis Zoo.

"If we were going to get a live tiger, it would take longer than a year to build the habitat and get together everything else," Missouri Student Association president Tim Noce told the Maneater.