Viral video captures moment between ‘fearless’ boy and Mike the Tiger at LSU

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A video of Mike the Tiger interacting with a young boy has gone viral.

Lance Loya was in Baton Rouge for a business event on Sunday, Feb. 11, when he decided to take a walk on LSU’s campus during his free time.

Loya said he was passing by the enclosure for Mike the Tiger he when he saw a “boy and tiger staring at each other.”

“They were eye-to-eye at the glass” and “the boy was adorable,” said Loya.

He said the tiger then “stood up on his back paws and started splashing the water.” Not only did the child not flinch but he started giggling, Loya said.

Mike started splashing again, and Loya recorded the duo facing each other through the enclosure glass. You can view the video here.

“I think it was a unique ‘Calvin and Hobbs’-like interaction between a cute, innocent child and a curious tiger. Maybe a child that age hasn’t learned to fear tigers, yet. But as a parent, I know that children that age can be easily frightened by sudden movements. This boy wasn’t. He was fearless,” Loya said.

“The boy was never in any real danger, but it’s still hard to constrain your parental protective instincts,” Loya said. “Clearly the tiger’s enclosure is well-designed with safety in mind.”

He said the video was taken around 9 a.m. Loya had gone by the enclosure earlier and “the tiger was lying in the water several yards away from the glass.”

Loya told the child’s grandparents the interaction was “going to be my favorite part of the day.”

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