Why rescue?

Sadly, the wild pet trade is the third largest illegal trade internationally. While the United States bans the import of threatened and endangered species and regulates the interstate trade in the U.S., loopholes and lack of enforcement leaves trade and breeding of these animals rampant.

All but 4 states in the U. S. have some kind of regulation of wild cats (Nevada, Alabama, Wisconsin, and North Carolina have no regulation at all). However, regulations vary from an outright ban to simple registration. As a result, there are still a lot of wild cats living in captivity throughout the country.

Where do your rescues come from?

Our rescues come from private owners, mom and pop zoos, traveling circuses, and other facilities as a result of being abandoned, relinquished, or confiscated by the authorities. 

How does a rescue work?

When we receive a call from authorities or from an individual requesting a rescue we evaluate the request against our decision tree, which is based on our core values What We Believe and management considerations.

  • Do we have a habitat already available for this animal? We do not accept animals for whom we do not already have a habitat completed or near completion.
  • Can we provide a home that is appropriate for the species? Until we have climate-controlled facilities for them, we will not accept Canadian lynx or snow leopards for example.
  • Is this a species we are experienced with or similar in needs to one we are familiar with?
  • Who is relinquishing the animal? We do not accept “rescues” from active breeders, non-AZA-accredited zoos, etc. who will continue to traffic in that species unless they sign a contract agreeing to close the business and never own a wild cat again.
  • Is the medical history known? We do not accept FIV or Feline leukemia positive animals as the resources required to care for them would preclude other rescues.
  • Is a move contraindicated for this animal? If the animal is very old or medically impaired it may be better to let the animal remain where they are.
  • Can we provide a home for the rest of this animal’s life? In other words, are we financially secure for the foreseeable future? Our Sanctuary Stewards estate giving club is one way we ensure this.

About Carolina Tiger Rescue

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

Carolina Tiger Rescue

1940 Hanks Chapel Rd. Pittsboro, NC 27312 (919) 542-4684 (919) 542-4454 info@carolinatigerrescue.org

Wildlife should be in the Wild



  • We believe the ideal home for wildlife is in the wild.
  • We believe it is critical to conserve their native habitats.
  • We believe wild animals should not be kept as pets.
  • We believe captive breeding should ONLY be done in accordance with Species Survival plans.
  • We believe all wild animals, both captive and in their native habitats, deserve to be treated with respect and not exploited for entertainment and commercial purposes.

Visit Carolina Tiger Rescue

Tiger at Carolina Tiger Rescue

Public Tours

Twilight Tours

Coming out for a tour is a great way to learn more about the animals that call Carolina Tiger Recue home. We offer many different types of tours.  Public tours are great for adults and families. Twilight tours are for adults only (18 years of age and older). Tiger Tales are a perfect option if you want to bring out really young children. Find the tour that is right for you and enjoy a walk through the sanctuary.

For all tours, tickets must be purchased in advance.

Have Fun Learning at Carolina Tiger Rescue

Field Trips

Field Trips

Virtual Field Trips link

Virtual Field Trips

Education is key to our mission.  We enjoy teaching "kids" of all ages!  Our field trips, both virtual and onsite, are ideal for groups of kids.  Our "Kid for a Day" Adult Camp provides a unique learning opportunity while allowing adults to channel their inner child.  While all of these opportunities are structured differently, in the end we want everyone to walk away knowing more about the animals we care for and what they can do to help protect them.

Bobcat at Carolina Tiger Rescue
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Caracal at Carolina Tiger Rescue
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Coatimundi at Carolina Tiger Rescue
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Cougar at Carolina Tiger Rescue
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Kinkajou at Carolina Tiger Rescue
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Lion at Carolina Tiger Rescue
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NGSD at Carolina Tiger Rescue
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Porcupine at Carolina Tiger Rescue
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Raccoon at Carolina Tiger Rescue
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Red Wolf at Carolina Tiger Rescue
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Red Wolves
Serval at Carolina Tiger Rescue
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Tiger at Carolina Tiger Rescue
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Keeper Stripes

Get involved at Carolina Tiger Rescue

Individual volunteering at Carolina Tiger Rescue

Individual Volunteering

Group volunteering at Carolina Tiger Rescue

Group Volunteering

There are so many ways to be a part of Carolina  Tiger Rescue.  Individual volunteers are able to help in many aspects of our work, including animal care, tour guides, construction, and gift shop assistance.  Work groups come from community groups, colleges, work places, and more!  It’s a great way to spend a day and it helps care for the cats.