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 5/5/19

It has been warming up here at Carolina Tiger Rescue and summer is fast-approaching, bringing with it more heat. Our tigers love to cool off in the same way a lot of humans do in the summertime – swimming!

Tigers, unlike most cats, love the water! They are excellent swimmers and can swim up to 14 miles in one day. They have even been known to hunt from the water. Our residents get pools every summer that they can lay and play in. It has now warmed up enough for us to start putting pools out!

As you can imagine, it takes staff and volunteer help and animal cooperation to get these pools in the enclosures. The animals have to shift to other parts of their enclosures so we can safely enter with the pools. We will move the tigers to another shift, sometimes using food to motivate them, shut the shift door from the outside, and then enter the enclosure. This way we can safely get their pools set up and filled. It takes a couple people to carry the pool in. Then, we pull a hose in and turn the water on to fill it, like I am doing in the picture to the right.

We do not let the animals back in while the pool is filling because we would not want them to chew on the hose and also have to shift them again when it fills. So, they remain shifted until we can go in and get the hose out. We make sure everything that went in, besides the pool, is taken back out and then we lock up and open the shift to them. This is my favorite part because we get to see them enjoy the water! Carolina, India, and Caprichio, the trio of tigers on Oak Hill, have all laid in one pool together before. There was barely water left in it when they got out! This is India to the left, enjoying having the pool all to herself. That is one cool cat!

We still have some more pools to distribute, so I should get back to it. Stay cool out there!

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!