Cougars, also known as pumas, mountain lions, and panthers, are large carnivorous mammals that are native to the Americas. They are found in a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and deserts, and are known to be highly adaptable and able to thrive in a variety of environments. Cougars are apex predators, meaning they are at the top of the food chain and have no natural predators.

Cougars are known for their powerful and graceful bodies, which are built for hunting and chasing prey. They have long legs, a large head, and a thick tail that helps them balance and maneuver through the trees and brush. Cougars are solitary animals and are generally most active at dawn and dusk, when they are most likely to be hunting. They are stealthy predators and are skilled at sneaking up on their prey, which can include anything from small mammals like rabbits and rodents to larger animals such as deer, elk, and even livestock.

One of the most notable characteristics of cougars is their size. Male cougars can grow to be over 2 meters long and can weigh up to 100 kilograms, while females are generally smaller, with a length of about 1.5 meters and a weight of around 70 kilograms. Cougars have a lifespan of around 8-13 years in the wild, and can live up to 20 years in captivity.

Despite their impressive size and predatory abilities, cougars are generally not aggressive towards humans and attacks on humans are rare. In fact, cougars are often shy and elusive animals that avoid human contact whenever possible. However, as with any wild animal, it is important to be cautious and to take precautions when traveling in areas where cougars are known to be present.

Cougars are facing a number of threats, including habitat loss and degradation, as well as poaching and conflict with humans. As a result, these animals are listed as a threatened species in many parts of their range. Conservation efforts are underway to protect and preserve cougars, including efforts to establish protected areas, educate the public about cougar behavior and safety, and promote coexistence between humans and cougars.

Carolina Tiger Rescue currently cares for one cougar, Beau. Beausoleil, or “Beau”, came to Carolina Tiger Rescue in January of 2019. Beau was wild-born in the state of Washington. He was seen in a family’s backyard a few times without his mother and when Wildlife Services came out, they trapped him and decided to relocate him to a sanctuary. In the state of Washington, any apex predator that is captured has to be relocated outside of the state within 24 hours or they are euthanized. Carolina Tiger Rescue was contacted by one of our sister sanctuaries, Wildcat Sanctuary in Minnesota, who has worked with the state of Washington before to re-home orphaned cougars. We coordinated with them to get Beau flown to Minnesota where he was picked up by a Wildcat Sanctuary volunteer and driven to Indianapolis. There, they met members of our team to bring Beau the rest of the way to his new home.

As Beau has continued to grow, so has his confidence. He has become a fan favorite on the tour path and he thinks that following small children is the most fun activity! Beau is still shy and takes a bit of time to warm up to new situations but with the help of operant conditioning, Beau has become less nervous and anxious. Beau loves enrichment and one of his favorite things to do is tear boxes into the smallest pieces possible! Beau is enjoying chasing the cars as they go by and has learned to take treats off a stick gently. He is a curious cougar who always wants to know what is going on, but is still timid with new things.

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

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.