Tessa Stripes is our newest animal keeper here at Carolina Tiger Rescue. She studied wildlife biology at Virginia Tech. Before coming to Carolina Tiger Rescue, she interned at Wildlife Safari. Her favorite animals to work with are tigers! She enjoys giving the animals at Carolina Tiger Rescue a safe and appropriate home for them. It’s a hard and dirty job, but she loves it! Her favorite time of year at the rescue is the fall, when all the animals get pumpkins for enrichment!

Keeper Tessa’s Blog 1/16/19

What exciting news I have to share today! I was able to go on my first rescue yesterday and we brought a new cougar cub to his new forever home! What a crazy two days it has been, but it has been two days I will never forget! 

Just four days ago, we got a call from one of our sister sanctuaries that is located in Minnesota. They said that an orphaned cougar cub in Washington state needed a new home and they asked if we could take him. We have the space and the ability to care for him for the rest of his life so we said, “Absolutely!”. Some rescues take months to prepare for and some we have to be out of the door in mere moments. On Wednesday, I was told to head home, pack my clothes, and be back in an hour to head up to Indianapolis to pick up the cougar cub! We had to get on the road quick because a winter storm was predicted for the weekend! Those of us who live in the south definitely don’t want to get stuck in the snow if we don’t have to!


Our destination was Indianapolis, Indiana, where we would meet a volunteer from the Minnesota sanctuary who had the cougar. We arrived there at 1:30 in the morning, 9 1/2 hours after leaving Pittsboro Wednesday afternoon. We were tired but excited to bring our newest resident back to the sanctuary. After putting his crate in the back of our truck, we found a local grocery store to get him some food. Finally, around 3:00 a.m., we were headed back south to North Carolina. At 1:30 in the afternoon on Thursday, we arrived back in Pittsboro and drove the cub straight down to quarantine where he will spend at least the next 30 days. All rescues spend at least 30 days in quarantine to ensure that they are not sick and do not have any illnesses that our other animals can pick up. I will do a post in the future about what goes on in quarantine, I promise. I also promise to post more about our new cougar. We are so excited to have him and to give him a name! For now, I need a long cat nap!