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 10/31/19

I handed out some more pumpkin enrichment this week and the cats loved it!

I gave pumpkins to Beau Cougar, Mila and Riley Tiger, and Shira Tiger. This is Beau’s first fall here at the sanctuary so it was his first time getting a pumpkin. I was so excited to see how he reacted to it. We shifted him, entered his enclosure, and put his pumpkin out with perfume and meat, all while he kept a very close eye on what we were doing. As we left his enclosure, he came closer to his shift gate to figure out what we’d changed and as soon as we opened the gate, he went for the pumpkin! He ate his treats and took in the smells. Beau was cautious and made sure to keep us in his sight, but did not react badly to us watching which we thought was great! His pumpkin said, “I am wild.” This is fitting for all of our animals but especially for Beau because he is one of only two animals at the sanctuary who were born in the wild instead of in captivity. Check out our blog posts about Beau Cougar’s rescue or Ranger Bobcat’s rescue to learn more.

Next, we made a trip over to the Pine Forest section of the sanctuary to visit a few tigers. We gave Mila and Riley two pumpkins. When we have any animals living together, we give them enough enrichment for each to have their own. Mila was the biggest fan of the pumpkins and took time to play with each one. Here, Riley is standing next to her pumpkin that says EN, which stands for endangered. Tigers in the wild are endangered. This means they have a very high risk of extinction in the wild. It is up to us to advocate for these cats and their native habitat.

After Mila and Riley, we went just up the path to Shira’s enclosure and placed her pumpkin on one of her platforms. When we let her back into that shift, she knocked the pumpkin on the ground, spilling the treats that were inside it! She then ate the treats and carried the pumpkin away. Here she is rolling the empty pumpkin on the ground.

It’s so exciting to watch how each animal reacts to enrichment. It’s especially fun to watch Beau find his personality and preferences!

From all of us here at the sanctuary, happy Halloween!

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!