Sam Ocelot



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.



Ocelots were once poached for their gorgeous dappled coats. Though they are now a protected species, their numbers are decreasing due to a new threat: deforestation.

Ocelots are gorgeous small cats who once roamed all over Central and South America and the Southwestern part of the United States. These opportunistic hunters were primarily poached for their beautiful fur. A single, standard sized coat requires between 30 and 35 ocelots to make.

Ocelots were once bred at Carolina Tiger Rescue as part of Species Survival Plans (SSP’s). Species Survival Plans are used to help ensure the survival of certain species facing extinction. SSP’s help ensure the captive populations have the healthiest and most diverse genes possible, to ensure the survival of the species.

Ocelots are now protected under the Endangered Species act in the U.S. and their numbers continue to rise. 

Ocelots are primarily nocturnal animals, finding the best time to be active is at night.

Ocelots in the wild

  • Ocelot numbers are slow to rise because they have a long gestation period and only one or two kittens per litter.
  • Ocelots have excellent night vision and prefer to do most of their hunting at night.
  • Ocelots have large feet to help them traverse the branches of trees; they are excellent climbers.
  • Ocelots are very patient hunters and will at times play dead to fool prey into coming closer, making them easier to catch!

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  • Due to being a protected species, ocelot numbers are rising because of the decrease in poaching.
  • Currently, the top threat to ocelots is habitat loss due to deforestation.
  • Ocelots are keystone species in their ecosystems because they help keep the small mammal and bird populations at a healthy level.


 It is important to know and understand that every animal in our ecosystem is vital to its balance. Without ocelots, the small mammal populations would overwhelm the natural resources and put a strain on the rest of the ecosystem.

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!