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Washington brings tiger to practice to prepare for LSU

The SportsXchange

Washington coach Steve Sarkisian spiced up Tuesday's practice by having a live tiger present, the Seattle Times reported.

The reason for having a caged tiger at the practice site was to get the players prepared to face LSU, whose mascot is Mike the Tiger.

Mike the Tiger is usually positioned next to the opponent's locker room at LSU, so players must walk past him on their way to the field.

The first thing Huskies players saw when they entered the practice field on Tuesday was the tiger.

"I was like 'Oh, a tiger? Why do we have a tiger here?''' redshirt freshman linebacker Travis Feeney told the Times. "It was kind of scary at first.

"Coach wants us to get used to it so when we play them and come out of the locker we already know that it's there and there is no distraction."

Sarkisian does not meet the media on Tuesdays, so he was unavailable to explain the move.

The tiger was a 16-month-old Bengal, weighing 300 pounds, and is from the Walk on the Wild Side animal preserve in Canby, Ore.

Steve Higgs, the tiger's handler, told the Times he thought it was a joke when he was first contacted about the possibility of bringing the tiger to Washington's practice.

"Then I realized the game was at LSU,'' he said.
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