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 8/9/19

Summer is quickly ending and, sadly, so is our time with our interns!

This year, we chose four interns to spend their summer with myself and the other keepers. Interns learn how we care for the sanctuary and its residents. They are a huge help in the warm summer months! The interns this summer have helped us prepare meals, feed animals, fill pools, refill waters, make and give enrichment, clean enclosures, prepare medications, and the list goes on. They have even been a huge help during veterinary procedures and physicals. They are going to leave a lasting impact on the sanctuary as well by leaving a newly built structure in Shira Tiger’s enclosure!

They have been planning a form of permanent enclosure enrichment and have spent the past couple weeks building it! The interns decided to build Shira a set of platforms to get higher in her enclosure. The structure has a lower platform about half the height of her denbox and an upper platform that’s a little taller than her denbox. Shira already spends some of her time on top of her denbox roof so I’m sure she will love keeping an eye on her territory from the top of her new platforms!

I went to check out the interns’ unfinished work on Wednesday, as you can see in the picture above. I love to see new wooden structures in the enclosures! And this one is so tall – I’m not as short as it makes me seem! The posts of the structure must be buried in concrete to make them nice and sturdy. By Wednesday, all of the concrete was poured or already dry and the four foot section was nearly finished. The tarp on the ground was covering some of the more fresh concrete to allow it to dry better.

The interns have worked so hard since Wednesday to complete their project. To the left, you can see them proudly displaying their finished product! After we removed all the tools and left the enclosure, we were able to unshift Shira and watch her explore her new structure. She seemed to love it and the extra shade it provides!

We are very sad to see our interns go, but they have to return to their college classes and hopefully we will get to see them again, either here at the Rescue or out helping animals elsewhere! We wish them the best of luck! From all the staff, volunteers, and residents of the sanctuary, thank you, interns, for spending your summer with us!