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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Apache Tiger


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On April 15th, 2009, Apache and his enclosure-mate Nitro arrived from a junkyard in Oakley, Kansas, following the February attack of a man by the lions at the same facility, the Prairie Cat Animal Refuge. The lions were accepted by the Detroit Zoo, and working with PETA, Carolina Tiger Rescue (then CPT) agreed to rescue the two tigers. Staff drove to Kansas to transport the tigers to their new home. Apache was less than thrilled with the traveling accomodations, but after a few weeks of friendly interactions with Keepers in Karen's Keep (quarantine), and his move to a large shady enclosure in the compound, Apache cautiously began to trust his new home and the people in it.

Apache in Oakley, KS

Apache's markings were as dark as Nitro's are light. He had clean, bold stripes that contrasted beautifully with his deep orange coat that continued to improve with his cleaner surroundings and improved diet and care. Apache may have appeared to be reclining in his denbox, but he was attuned to each sight and sound around him. He was intrigued by his neighbors, Tex and Jellybean, and watched them with utmost concentration.

Apache was very protective of Nitro, and would walk with him around the enclosure. If Tex grumbled in reply to Nitro's friendly chuffle, Apache would nudge Nitro out of the way and stand between Nitro and Tex. Apache was a bit shy of people, but he rewarded visitors that had time and patience. Where Nitro's chuffle is short, social, and curious, Apache's was quiet and reserved, as if hesitant to trust. Visitors could talk quietly to Apache and he would regard them, thinking things through, and eventually come to the fence with a greeting chuffle and perhaps a fence nuzzle. Volunteers described this time as "peaceful time in Apache's company".

In August, 2011, Keepers noticed Apache was not eating. Carolina Tiger's Dr. Lassiter sedated Apache and collected blood, but his blood test came back clean- in fact, better than anticipated. Apache was given medicine to settle his stomach, and the Keepers continued to monitor him closely. When his appetite had not improved after 2 more weeks, Dr. Lassiter wanted to take another look. This time, Apache's bloodwork showed dramatic changes, and Dr Lassiter discovered an aggresive tumor growing in his jaw. No treatment option was available, and to spare Apache additional pain, he was euthanized.

Apache's quiet nature and protectiveness of Nitro endeared him to the Carolina Tiger family- he is missed and we cherish our memories of him.

Tribute by Shanna Oberreiter, Kathryn Bertok, & Amanda Byrne.

Photo/s courtesy of Shanna Oberreiter & Thomas County Sheriff Dept. (Oakley, KS), ©Carolina Tiger Rescue