International Tiger Day 2018: Why education drives who we are
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.
Something unique happens when you visit Carolina Tiger Rescue. Guests stand just feet away from several beautiful tigers. This experience isn’t only meant for the public to see animals — its purpose is to learn why we do what we do for them.
We want you to put the face to the story. We want you to leave Carolina Tiger Rescue knowing what you can do to help tigers like Emerson, who started his life as a pet, or Rajah, who was found wandering on the side of rural road as a cub.
There is currently no legislation in the state of North Carolina that bans people from owning tigers, an endangered species in the wild. Estimates indicate there are about 3,800 wild tigers left. That number more than doubles for them in captivity. Most captive tigers don’t get to enjoy their lives at federally-accredited sanctuaries like Carolina Tiger Rescue, though. Many are exploited. When they can no longer be used, some of these animals are sadly euthanized.
Carolina Tiger Rescue is celebrating International Tiger Day to take part in the global recognition of the plights tigers face.
The population of wild tigers has dropped severely over the last century due to principal threats, such as habitat loss and poaching.
An integral part of our mission is education, because teaching others the truth about what is happening to the tigers in the wild and in captivity is one way to save and protect them.
In the last 100 years, the wild tiger population has decreased by 96 percent. This is one of the alarming statistics that inspired International Tiger Day in 2010, with the hope of saving these magnificent animals. We don’t want a world without tigers. Do you?
Carry these tiger facts with you everywhere!
Upon visiting Carolina Tiger Rescue, your experience will start in the education center. You’ll see animal pelts and skulls on display. You’ll see our colorful rescue wall, which maps out the 73 animals we’ve rescued over the past few decades.
We fold education into everything we do, which became our chief duty when we transitioned from a breeding facility for small cats and other exotic predators to a rescue for wild cats in need. That happened in the 1990s, when we realized we’d have a greater impact through education.
Though experiences at Carolina Tiger Rescue — from tours to volunteering and membership — are meant to be exciting and inclusive, they were designed to educate. But who says you can’t have fun while learning?!
Tour guests learn about species history and rescue efforts. We also use the platform to highlight why these animals don’t make good pets and why they were designed to be wild, regardless of how much we want to love them as property. Volunteers go through rigorous training that includes our steadfast and unyielding educational elements. They are asked to adopt our values, too! Members attend events at the sanctuary that give them hands-on learning experiences, such as building enrichment for the animals to ensure they have a better life in captivity.
During the festivities leading up to International Tiger Day, we hope highlighting these issues in a global spotlight will encourage you to do your part to save the tigers!