In Week 1 last season, Clemson and Auburn were enemies on the football field. This week, they joined together in an effort to save wild tiger populations worldwide.
The two schools, along with LSU and Missouri – two other universities with tigers for mascots – are leading the efforts of the newly formed U.S. Tiger University Consortium.
“Students, faculty and alumni chant ‘Go Tigers’ on a daily basis, but not many know the truth about the animal we hold so dear,” said Brett Wright, who is the dean of Clemson’s College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences. “These universities share the tiger mascot and benefit from that majestic symbol of strength, dignity and beauty, so they share a moral responsibility to apply all of our resources to save the animal that inspires that symbol.”
According to a Clemson press release, the wild tiger population increased “for the first time in 100 years” in 2016, but even still, there are only about 3,900 wild tigers left in the world. Two-thirds of that amount live in India.
But with these four “tiger mascot” schools teaming up, they will implement technology to monitor tigers while participating in research projects. Their goal is to double the population of tigers in the wild over the next five years.