Did you know? Fewer than 4,000 tigers remain in the wild. Of the nine tiger subspecies, three are now extinct (Javan, Caspian, and Bali) and the South China tiger is considered functionally extinct (not found in the wild) with around 100 individuals living in captivity around the world. Habitat loss/fragmentation, poaching, and human-tiger conflict have diminished wild populations, and while ongoing efforts are attempting to slow the decline, more work needs to be done to ensure tiger populations do not disappear altogether. On this Endangered Species Day, we challenge you to do what you can to help protect these and other endangered species around the world! 

What can I do to help tigers?

Don’t purchase products containing palm oil. Tigers have lost over 90 percent of their historical range in the past 100 years to population growth and agricultural activities, reducing tiger populations to below 4,000 individuals. Palm oil plantations are a huge culprit – every hour, an area the size of 300 football fields is lost to make way for cheap and profitable palm fields. For more information on palm oil and what you can do to help prevent its production and use, click here.

Never purchase illegal wildlife products, either at home or abroad. Many people view dead tigers as extremely valuable, using every part of their bodies in some way. There is no science to back claims that tiger or other animal parts have medicinal value, and tigers suffer needlessly at the hands of poachers or in illegal tiger farms where they are bred for their parts.

Reduce your paper consumption. Deforestation in Asia and South America for the production of paper products is a significant contributor to the loss of wild cat populations, including tigers. By reducing demand, you reduce the need to cut down vital habitat for these animals. It also contributes to the protection of other important species that rely on these forests to survive.

Amur Leopard

Snow Leopard


What other big cat species are endangered? 

Leopards as a species are considered vulnerable by the IUCN Red List, meaning they’re at high risk of becoming extinct in the wild. Populations are threatened and decreasing, especially those outside of Africa – a rare subspecies, the Amur Leopard is critically endangered, with fewer than 100 left in the wild. The Amur leopard is important ecologically, economically, and culturally, and the conservation of its habitat (found in far eastern Russia) benefits other species, including Amur tigers and prey species like deer.

Snow leopard populations are also dwindling. Like other big cat species, hunting, habitat loss, and retaliatory killings are the main causes of the decline in snow leopard populations, but climate change poses the biggest long-term threat. As global temperatures increase, snow leopard habitat in the Himalayas will diminish by 30 percent. Doing what you can to reduce your carbon footprint can play a role in helping conserve what remains of the snow leopard’s natural habitat.

In South America, jaguar populations are declining in the Amazon. These cats are the largest in the Americas, and play a vital role in the health of rainforest ecosystems. Their historic range has decreased by 50 percent, making it more difficult for them to find mates, prey, and other necessary resources. Additionally, an increase in Chinese investment in Latin America has contributed to an increase in demand for valuable jaguar parts.

What is Carolina Tiger Rescue doing to help endangered populations?

While our main mission is to rescue captive wild cats from inappropriate or abusive situations, we also make it a priority to educate the public on the plight of wild cats, both in captivity and in the wild. Education is an important first step in effecting change of any kind, so be sure to talk to your family and friends about how they can help protect endangered cat species!

We also support the passing of the Big Cat Public Safety Act, which increases protections for both the public and captive wild cats, and makes it more difficult for individuals to exploit and profit off of them.

Additionally, we do not breed. Breeding only contributes to the rampant problem of captive big cats in the United States. We let Species Survival Plans dictate breeding programs in accredited zoos around the world. 

We also work with Wild Track, an organization dedicated to the creation of non-invasive research methods to monitor wildlife populations. Wild Tracks has collected the pug marks (paw prints) of tigers at Carolina Tiger Rescue to create the foundation for the Bengal tiger database which has helped create an algorithm to identify tigers by individuals, age-class, and sex using pug marks.

Do what you can to prevent the continued loss of wild cat populations around the globe, and think twice about patronizing attractions that exploit and profit off of captive wild cats. These facilities are often abusive, and while many claim to support conservation efforts, the vast majority of captive wild tigers in the U.S. do not have the genetic ability to assist in the conservation of remaining wild populations, and most organizations are only after your money. For more information on how to make sure you’re choosing the right facility to visit, click here.

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

Wildlife should be in the Wild



  • 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

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Caracal at Carolina Tiger Rescue

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Coatimundi at Carolina Tiger Rescue

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Cougar at Carolina Tiger Rescue

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Kinkajou at Carolina Tiger Rescue

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In Memoriam
Leopard at Carolina Tiger Rescue

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Lion at Carolina Tiger Rescue

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Ocelot at Carolina Tiger Rescue

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Serval at Carolina Tiger Rescue

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Tiger at Carolina Tiger Rescue

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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


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!