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!