LSU puts up new fence to protect 'Mike the Tiger' from the coronavirus

"Mike the Tiger" rests in his habitat during a basketball game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the LSU Tigers at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on March 7.

(CNN)Louisiana State University is doing its part to ensure humans don't expose its beloved tiger mascot to Covid-19.

The university erected an extra pedestrian barrier around the habitat for "Mike the Tiger." The well-being of Baton Rouge's precious Bengal tiger has always been a top priority, but concern grew after a 4-year-old tiger named Nadia tested positive for the coronavirus at the Bronx Zoo in New York City.
The new layer of fencing was put in place Tuesday to provide an extra four foot barrier between Mike and pedestrians, according to Ginger Guttner, a spokeswoman for LSU's School of Veterinary Medicine.
The Bengal tiger is the seventh Mike and turns 4 in September.
    The Bronx Zoo's Nadia was the first instance of a tiger contracting Covid-19, and while she's expected to recover, LSU isn't taking any chances with Mike VII.
    "Scientists are still learning about this new coronavirus and how it spreads," Guttner said in a statement. "Further studies are needed to understand if and how different animals could be affected by Covid-19. At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that any animals, including pets or livestock, can spread Covid-19 infection to people."
    In Nadia's case, she was infected by a zoo employee who was "asymptomatically infected with the virus" while caring for the Malayan tiger and other animals, the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo said in a news release last week. But even before Nadia, Mike's caretakers were always closely monitoring him, according to Guttner.
    "Over three weeks ago, Mike's caretakers instituted an SOP (standard operating procedure) whereby they discontinued having direct contact with the tiger, just in case it turned out that cats were susceptible to infection with Covid-19," Guttner said in the statement.
    Mike's caretakers also wear gloves and a mask while working in the night house.
      LSU is asking that Mike's fans continue to follow the governor's orders and stay home.
      They can still get a glimpse of Mike on the Tiger Cam or follow him on social media. The extra fencing can be seen on the live university camera outside the tiger habitat.