Carolina Tiger Rescue, formerly the Carnivore Preservation Trust, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit wildlife sanctuary whose mission is saving and protecting wild cats in captivity and in the wild.

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Avalon Leopard


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Avalon was the quintessential black leopard - smooth, sleek and smart. She usually greeted us with a deep growl that resonated through her chest and quivered the air. But, Avalon had another greeting that astounded us all. Avalon would say the word "hey" perfectly. Several volunteers, visitors and staffers heard her say it and actually responded - thinking another person was around! But it was just Avalon talking - on not such a growly day.

Carolina Tiger Rescue (then CPT) lost Avalon in September, 2007. Staff found her already gone, curled up in her denbox. Despite her advanced age, her death came as a shock to us all; she gave no indication of being ill and had received a clean bill of health in her February physical. Lab results determined Avalon died of a uterine infection.

Avalon left us only a few months after the loss of her enclosure-mate, Disraeli. In the months following his passing, volunteers and staff were touched by Avalon's increased need for company, as her calls became more frequent. We were only too happy to oblige. Avalon managed to capture our hearts with her conversive greetings, yet remind us to respect her leopard status with her deep throaty growls.

Tribute by Julie Britain.

Photo/s courtesy of Gary Magee, ©Carolina Tiger Rescue