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 7/21/20

I have another Shira and Saber Tiger update for you all!

Last time we checked in with the pair, they had been introduced to one another in an off tour enclosure and were getting along wonderfully. We did this because Saber and Shira had both lived with other tigers in the past and shown signs that they wanted this social enrichment once again. When introduced, they welcomed the interaction a new enclosure mate provided. Over the past couple months, they continued to thrive. They have gotten loads of exercise and entertainment chasing each other around their enclosure and sharing enrichment!

Before his introduction to Shira, Saber lived on tour. Shira never had, but knowing her personality, we keepers had a feeling she would enjoy life on tour. We decided to move them into an enclosure on Oak Hill along the tour route to test this theory. This enclosure is between Caprichio, Carolina, and India Tiger’s enclosure and Roman and Reina Lion’s enclosure. It has trees for shade, a hammock for relaxation, and hills that are perfect for keeping watch over the sanctuary.

After allowing them to settle into their new space, we were able to observe their reactions as the occasional tour group visited them to hear their stories. Saber was just as happy during tour group visits as he’d always been and Shira enjoyed the new form of enrichment. If either of them had responded differently, they would have moved back to their off tour enclosure but based on their reactions, we have decided to allow tours to meet them! Even as an on tour animal, they have the option to walk away from groups and can always move off tour again if they prefer to.

Next time you are out at the sanctuary, I hope you get to meet Shira and Saber. Our guides are very excited to share their stories with you! In the meantime, you can read about Saber and Shira’s introduction here and check out some of our animals’ stories, including Saber’s, on our Stories page.