Dr. Lamar Hunter has just joined the Carolina Tiger Rescue team as a wildlife veterinarian. After he graduated from NC State’s vet school, Dr. Hunter studied under Dr. Angela Lassiter at Carolina Tiger Rescue. He helps with physicals, medical procedures, and loves seeing the animals improve under the care of the awesome vets at the rescue. Dr. Hunter enjoys working with all the animals at Carolina Tiger Rescue, but his favorite is the lions.

Dr. Hunter’s Blog 9/8/2021

By now, I am sure you have heard about our latest rescue, a young serval named Pixie! She is settling in well and seems to be enjoying her new home at Carolina Tiger Rescue. The staff and volunteers have been getting to know her personality and have found her to be a very confident and curious wild cat. Since 1991, Carolina Tiger Rescue has rescued 93 animals, representing 11 different species from 18 different states. Of those 93 rescued animals, 14 of them have been servals. 

Queen Serval
Queen Serval

Servals are easy to breed and have an exotic appearance, making them popular in the exotic pet trade. Due to their small size and unique appearance, people will often purchase servals as pets to keep in their homes like house cats. What they don’t realize, is that once that adorable kitten reaches maturity at around 18-24 months of age, they become very difficult to keep as pets. Servals are wild animals with wild instincts, sharp claws and teeth and extraordinary physical abilities that would help them survive in the wild. Servals can jump up to 12 feet in the air, hear a rodent 6 inches underground, and have the fastest paw strike of all the cats, at 1/60 of a second.

What happens when someone gets a serval kitten to keep as a pet and then decides that the animal is too aggressive or destructive to keep in their home? Often, these cats are surrendered to a rescue like Carolina Tiger Rescue, confiscated by authorities and sometimes owners just let them loose leaving the cat to fend for itself, posing threats to the serval, other animals, and humans in the surrounding area. These cats deserve better than that and we look forward to a day when servals no longer need rescued from these dire situations.