Dr. Chloe Wilde is our wildlife biologist. She studied ecology at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Her favorite topic of study is conservation. Dr. Wilde is passionate about learning about and teaching others about how they can help wild cat populations, including reducing their use of products with palm oil in them. Though Carolina Tiger Rescue does not have any, Dr. Wilde’s favorite animal to study is the clouded leopard.

Dr. Wilde’s Blog 7/11/19

Today, I want to talk about scientific names. Scientific names were created to help people talk about an animal even if they have different common names for the animal. For example, cougars have over 70 different common names so one person may call our resident, Star Cougar, a mountain lion while someone else calls her a puma. Using her scientific name, they would both refer to her as Puma concolor – no more confusion. Some of our other residents’ scientific names are Panthera tigris for the tigers, Lynx rufus for the bobcats, and my favorite Caracal caracal for the caracals. Each species has their own scientific name, but where do these names come from?

Scientific names come from an animal’s taxonomy. Taxonomy is the classification and sorting of living things based on shared characteristics. You can think of taxonomy like a library. Libraries are sorted into sections of similar books so that it’s easier to find the one you want. Libraries may first sort their books by the age of the readers, like adults, teenagers, and children. Then, in those three sections they may be sorted into fiction and non-fiction books. After that, they can be separated by what type of story it tells. For example, the teenager fiction books may be separated into science fiction, romance, and mystery. The further into the sorting you go, the more similar the books in that section are. Eventually, you will get down to one book or, in taxonomy, one species.

Taxonomy sorts living things into a kingdom first, then a phylum, followed by class, order, family, genus, and lastly species. Above is a graphic to show the taxonomy of a cougar. There are many, many different animals in the Animal Kingdom with very different characteristics. Once you get down to the Felidae Family, you have much more similar animals; they’re all cats! Instead of listing every group that a plant or animal fits in every time we talk about them, we shorten it and just use the genus and species. So, with cougars, the genus is Puma and the species is concolor and we refer to cougars as Puma concolor.

Often, the scientific name is based on characteristics of the animal. For example, “concolor” means “of one color” and the cougar is a solid colored cat, as you can see in this photo of Star Cougar. They have lighter bellies, a darker tip on their tail, and can vary in shade but they are not a patterned cat. In my post about snapping turtles on May 24, 2019, I briefly explain their scientific name. Check it out! And if you get a chance, look up your favorite animal and see what their scientific name means! I think it’s so cool that the name can describe the animal’s features!

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.

Our Rescues
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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In Memoriam
Leopard at Carolina Tiger Rescue

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Lion at Carolina Tiger Rescue

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Ocelot at Carolina Tiger Rescue

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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.

Ways to Support Carolina Tiger Rescue

Donate to Carolina Tiger Rescue


Big Cat Dinner Club Information

Big Cat Dinner Club

Whether it’s a monthly donation or a one-time gift, a symbolic animal adoption, a gift to the Big Cat Dinner Club, or any other kind of donation, your contribution to Carolina Tiger Rescue goes straight to work helping to save wild cats in need.  Don’t see what you are looking for, our development staff can help you find a meaningful way to support the cats!