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 4/3/19

I come to you all today with exciting news! We rescued a bobcat on Wednesday, March 27, from Virginia. His name is Ranger!

Ten years ago, a California family found a bobcat kitten in the wild. Assuming that he was abandoned, they took him home and kept him as a pet. The family later moved to Virginia, taking the bobcat with them. Virginia, like most states, does not allow the ownership of bobcats. Ranger’s owners were approached by authorities and agreed to send him here to Carolina Tiger Rescue. Ranger is currently in quarantine. I will let you know when he gets cleared from quarantine and is in an outdoor enclosure!

Talon is no longer the sole bobcat at the Rescue! If you compare Talon and Ranger, it’s easy to see how even cats of the same species can look so different. In the picture below, you can see the differences in their patterns and coat colors. Talon has a more brown coat. Ranger has a more typical bobcat nose – it’s pink! Talon’s is all-black. They both have the classic bobcat characteristics, such as ear tufts, the ruff of fur around their faces, and, of course, the short, bobbed tail.

Talon and Ranger have something else in common as well. They were both private pets! When the family found Ranger in the wild as a kitten, they assumed he had been abandoned but this may not have been the case. We’ll never know if he was orphaned or abandoned or if his mom was just out hunting and would have returned to him later. Ranger and Talon luckily ended up here at the Rescue with staff who know how to properly care for them, but there’s a place that would have been even better for them – the wild! They should have never been in captivity or kept as pets. If you find a baby animal in the wild, it is best to leave it alone. If you are worried, though, you can call your local wildlife agency to alert them and they will know the best course of action.