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 2/24/20

I have another animal update for you all. This time it is about Tasha Tiger!

Tasha came to us in 2014 from Alabama with Tears, Madonna, and Leah Tiger. Their elderly owner had previously operated a roadside zoo, but the facility had long since closed and fallen into disrepair. Carolina Tiger Rescue was one of four rescue organizations that worked together to rescue and give homes to over 15 lions, tigers, bears, and wolves housed there. When she first came to the sanctuary, Tasha Tiger was quite anxious and was given an enclosure towards the back of the sanctuary to settle into her new home. Tasha Tiger has adjusted well and become known as a chuffle queen! A chuffle is a social greeting used by tigers, and Tasha has been known to chuffle at many staff members and volunteers who pay her a visit!

We recently moved a few animals around to do maintenance on Tasha Tiger’s enclosure in the Pine Forest section of the sanctuary. As you may remember, Saber Tiger was introduced to Shira Tiger in her off tour enclosure, leaving his habitat next to Mona and Moki Tiger, or the Mo Girls, available. We decided to move the Mo Girls just next door to Saber’s former enclosure. Then, Tasha Tiger was able to move into their habitat. All three of the girls explored their new living spaces, marking them as their own and trying out all the different enrichment and new smells.

Because Tasha had lived as an off tour animal, our tour guides were told not to stop by Tasha’s new enclosure, but as tours visited animals up the tour path from her, she did not seem to mind their presence. One day, when a staff member led a small tour through the sanctuary, we keepers decided to let them visit her while we observed her reactions. Tasha did great! She even chuffled at the guests! We continued to watch her as we allowed the occasional tour to visit and she has done so well that she is now an on tour animal.

I hope you get inspiration from Mick, Bowie, and Dylan Serval and Tasha Tiger. Go try something new and see how you like it! You just might be surprised with how well you do and how much you enjoy it. Tasha and I send our chuffles and are cheering you on!