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Mizzou Student President Says He No Longer Wants Live Tiger at Games; Good Thing Too, Seeing How They're on "Verge of Extinction"

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Tim Noce: No tiger, but a tale
University of Missouri student body president Tim Noce says he no longer wants a live tiger at Mizzou home football games.

Noce first broached the subject of having a live tiger mascot last month in a few articles that appeared in Columbia newspapers. By last week, though, Noce had already dismissed the idea despite an Associated Press story this past Tuesday the contrary.

Yesterday Noce told the RFT's sister paper in Kansas City, The Pitch, that no one from the AP called him before reporting the story.

Noce says that creating a zoo-quality enclosure for a live tiger to live (when not at football games) would cost upwards of several million dollars. Instead, he and other students are now thinking of sponsoring a tiger at the St. Louis zoo or its counterparts in Kansas City and Springfield.

We'd still like to do something good to encourage the tiger conservation effort," says Noce. "Essentially, we'd help [a zoo] out by educating people on their conservation efforts, and we'd get a plaque in the zoo by the tiger lair that says that these are the official Mizzou tigers. That's the idea now, but obviously nothing is set in stone yet."

That sounds like a good plan, especially considering a report this week from the World Wildlife Fund that tigers could become extinct in the wild within most of our life times.

Already there are more tigers in captivity in the United States (3,200) than there are animals in the wild in their native continent of Asia.

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