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 2/15/19

Do you share a room with a brother or sister? If you do, you may know what it’s like to occasionally not get along with them and wish you had a room of your own. Our animals might go through the same thing with their enclosure-mates.

When animals have lived together before coming to us, we will keep them together after they arrive here at the rescue and they will share an enclosure. Most of the time, they do great living together, but other times they decide they want to live alone and we try our best to give them that. The animals cannot talk to us to ask for a new enclosure, so they will show us by getting in “arguments” with each other. They will grumble at each other and maybe stand up on their back legs to show their roommate that they are unhappy.

Shira Tiger came to us with Yanaba and Kaari Tiger. The three girls lived together at their old facility, so we let them live together when they came to Carolina Tiger Rescue nearly a year ago. However, we soon discovered that Shira would do better in her own enclosure than she did with roommates. With Max’s recent passing, we were able to give Shira the “room” of her own that she’d been waiting for.


To move a big cat, we use straps and hooks to attach a transport crate to a door on the side of their enclosure. We made our transport crates with doors on both sides that can be pulled up to open the box on either end. Once the crate is attached to the fence, we can pull up the enclosure door and the crate door on that side and let the tiger in. We encourage the tiger to enter the box using treats. Once the tiger is in the transport crate, we can close the doors back down behind them. Next, we unhook the box from the fence, load it onto a trailer, and take it to the new enclosure. There, we follow the same steps for strapping the crate to the fence and opening the doors, this time to let the tiger out of the box and into their new home.

Shira entered the transport crate easily and didn’t put up a fuss while being moved to her new home! Maybe she was just excited to get her own space – I know I would be! She went right out into her new enclosure and started exploring. She met her new neighbors, Mila and Riley Tiger and they all shared some friendly chuffles!

As hard as it was to see someone new in Max’s enclosure, it made me happy to know that his enclosure will be enjoyed by someone who needed it. I think Max would be glad someone gets to love his old enclosure like he did!