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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.

 

So you want to be a keeper? Working as an animal keeper can be an extremely rewarding career. Due to a universal love of animals, the animal keeper field is quite competitive. There are actions you can take to help increase your chances of landing one of these life-changing positions.  

In Grade School

  • Take a field trip to Carolina Tiger Rescue, or to your local zoo, aquarium, or sanctuary.
  • Spend time outdoors and observe wildlife.
  • Read books and watch TV programs about wildlife, biology, and conservation.
  • Ask for animal-related magazines such as National Geographic Kids, Ranger Rick, or Your Big Backyard.

In Middle/High School

  • Join clubs or organizations that are biology-related or that spend time outdoors.
  • Volunteer or work in an animal environment (veterinary hospital, local animal shelter, horse stable, local zoo or aquarium).
  • Volunteer at Carolina Tiger Rescue.
  • Plan to attend a college that has a biology or animal-related field of study.

In College

  • Pursue an animal-related degree (i.e. zoology, biology, animal science, wildlife science, etc.).
  • Take animal-related courses (i.e. physiology, animal behavior, ecology, zoology, population dynamics, animal husbandry, etc.).
  • Volunteer and participate in internships.  This is a great way to gain experience with a variety of species.  You may find you enjoy a different area of animal care than you expected.

As a College Graduate

  • Contact HR of any animal facilities in your area for possible job openings.
  • If you can’t get a job immediately in your desired field, consider volunteering to gain experience.
  • If you are interested in furthering your education, consider graduate school for a Master’s degree (however, most facilities only require a Bachelor’s degree).

Some Things to Think About

  • Do it because you love the job! Animal Keepers are generally paid a minimum wage.
  • Be physically fit and have a good attitude. You will be working outdoors and in all weather conditions.
  • Contrary to what many people think, keepers spend a lot of time interacting with the public. If you want to work with animals to avoid working with people, don’t be deceived. Animal keepers give educational presentations to the public, guide tours, and interact with people on a daily basis.
  • Be prepared to work flexible hours and days. This is not a 9-5 job. You have to work holidays, weekends, and sometimes after your shift was supposed to end. Animals need care every day.
  • Most animal facilities require a college degree.
  • The best way to know if you will enjoy being a keeper is to experience it by volunteering or interning at various zoos, aquariums, rehabilitation centers, or sanctuaries.
  • Don’t get frustrated.  It takes time to gain the experience you need to be successful in the animal care field.  

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
info@carolinatigerrescue.org

Wildlife should be in the Wild

Rescue

Education

  • 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

Learn about
BOBCATS

Caracal at Carolina Tiger Rescue

Learn about
CARACALS

Coatimundi at Carolina Tiger Rescue

Learn about
COATIMUNDIS

Cougar at Carolina Tiger Rescue

Learn about
COUGARS

Kinkajou at Carolina Tiger Rescue

Learn about
KINKAJOUS

In Memoriam
Leopard at Carolina Tiger Rescue

Learn about
LEOPARDS

Lion at Carolina Tiger Rescue

Learn about
LIONS

Ocelot at Carolina Tiger Rescue

Learn about
OCELOTS

Serval at Carolina Tiger Rescue

Learn about
SERVALS

Tiger at Carolina Tiger Rescue

Learn about
TIGERS

Animals
Games
Activities
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

Donate

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!