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 8/1/19

As promised, I have updates on Beau Cougar, our only wild-born cougar rescue! Last time we talked, Beau had just moved to a different enclosure and he is loving it!

Beau has settled a bit more into life here at the sanctuary. He is still unsure about large groups but watches curiously as people work or tour the sanctuary. Small groups of staff and volunteers are allowed to visit his off tour enclosure with permission from the keepers. He has adjusted well to seeing more people and comes up to all animal care staff for treats! If at any time he seems like he wants fewer people to visit, we will adjust for him. His comfort is most important.

All of our animals here at the Rescue choose whether or not they get lots of visitors. If they don’t like big groups of people like our tour groups, they can live off tour. They will get the same treatment in all other aspects of their lives, just with fewer humans coming to their enclosures!

With and without visitors around, Beau’s personality is really starting to show! He loves enrichment but usually only when he is left alone with it. In private, he likes to shred his cardboard enrichment into little pieces. With visitors, he likes to play hide and stalk by quietly moving around his enclosure to keep an eye on them. Just like wild cougars, he is very stealthy and good at stalking!

Beau celebrated his first birthday on July 17! He was estimated to be six months old when he came to us and he has grown so much in the past few months. In these photos, you can see how much bigger he is now! Full-grown male cougars can be up to 200 pounds and 8 feet long from nose to tail tip! I’m excited to see how big Beau gets and we are all looking forward to spending many more birthdays with him!