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.


The manure was high enough to reach their shoulders.

The trailer they were living in was far too small for three full-grown, female Siberian tigers.

When they were rescued from their crowded living conditions, they were hungry. They were on edge. These big cats were also very grumpy, understandably so.

State officials in Virginia found the trio in a small, manure-filled cattle trailer during a raid in August 1995. The tigers were meant to be sold. Officials sent the trio to us when we were still known as Carnivore Preservation Trust, and they lived in peace.


Celebrate International Tiger Day with us on July 29!

The last Virginia Girl lived at Carolina Tiger Rescue until 2007. 

When they arrived, they were in poor shape. Manassas and Shiloh Tigers weighed only 180 pounds; the largest tiger of the trio, Antietam, was a scrawny 200 pounds. They ate their way to a healthy 280 and 400 pounds in a few months at the rescue. Tigers can weigh between 300 and 700 pounds. 

The Virginia Girls, as we came to know them, seemed to enjoy their spacious enclosure. They were playful and even “talked” to their neighboring residents. They remained at our sanctuary until their respective passings in 2003, 2006, and 2007.

More than a decade after the last Virginia Girl lived here, there are still many other tigers in need of rescue. In more than four decades, Carolina Tiger Rescue has provided forever homes to 71 animals in need; all of the big cats currently living at the sanctuary were rescued. 


The wild pet trade is the third-largest illegal trade in the world. Many of our rescued residents come from private owners, roadside zoos, or other facilities because of being abandoned, relinquished, or confiscated.

Before accepting a new animal, there are several considerations we take. We must have a home ready for the animals and promise that they will live with us for the rest of their lives. We think about whether we have the proper experience for the species. There are some species we simply cannot accept at this time, such as snow leopards or Canadian lynx. North Carolina’s climate isn’t suitable for those animals.

There are currently 21 tigers in our care, who were all rescued from a variety of backgrounds. Sadly, they won’t be the last to need us. We are proud to offer captive wild cats the peace and respect they deserve, but it’s unfortunate that they need us in the first place.

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!