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.


Baxter Kinkajou is the newest resident of Carolina Tiger Rescue. The 7-year-old kinkajou had been a family pet since he was 8 weeks old. He joins us from right here in North Carolina, where it is legal to own kinkajous. 

Kinkajous are wild and dangerous, and Baxter’s story represents the lack of legislation addressing exotic species ownership in the state. North Carolina joins Alabama, Nevada and Wisconsin as the only states with no laws regarding this issue. Luckily for Baxter, his family wanted to do what was best for him. 


Baxter Kinkajou arrives at Carolina Tiger Rescue

Baxter Kinkajou! 

Baxter’s family interacts with him before saying goodbye 

A couple named Summer and Kirby had been in contact with us for a few months before bringing him to Carolina Tiger on Thursday. They got Baxter after their son died in Iraq while serving in the military in 2011; they were longing for something to need them. But as Baxter matured, he grew more aggressive. The couple knew they could no longer properly care for him. Baxter bit Summer several times, and they realized having a pet kinkajou was a mistake. 

Upon surrendering Baxter, they were interested in seeing where he’d live. What will soon be Baxter’s spacious outdoor enclosure brought Summer to tears. She said they could not have ever given him the life and care he’ll have at Carolina Tiger Rescue.  

The couple was at peace with their decision when they left and allowed us to be transparent about their story in hopes to educate others. 

“No one should have a kinkajou,” Summer said. “I wish I could write something about when you love an animal who doesn’t love you back. They can’t love you back.” 

They left here feeling at peace with their decision, which was the right one for Baxter. Saying goodbye was tough, but they knew he was in a good place. 

Baxter, who will spend the first 30 days here in quarantine, lived with other pets and would periodically break into Summer’s makeup and eat it! This little guy enjoys dried pineapple and joins Albert, Lola and Wednesday as our resident Kinkajous! Lola was also rescued from the state in 2013. 

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!