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.


Fall is finally here and we’re celebrating by having some enrichment fun with the animals. Keepers stuff pumpkins with raw meat and spray them with perfume. We leave them in an animal’s enclosure and watch the fun as tigers and lions come bounding in to inspect something new in their territory. Their eyes light up and they are immediately intrigued, sniffing and pawing at the pumpkin. Some of our cats go right for the meat inside the pumpkins, others rub happily on the pumpkins. They paw, claw and roll the pumpkins around, and meat spills out the top, like a treat dispenser.

Carolina Tiger Rescue’s enrichment program provides physically and mentally stimulating activities and toys for all the sanctuary’s residents.We do a wide variety of activities with the animals, like painting Pawcassos, pools for swimming, rolls to roll, textures to rub on, new scents and objects outside of the enclosure, like remote-control cars, windsocks or decoy ducks. Enrichment allows animals to demonstrate their species-typical behavior, stimulates the senses and enhances their well-being. It’s just as essential to animal welfare as proper nutrition and veterinary care. 


So what makes perfume a big deal?


Smell is very important to the animals because it gives them clues about their surroundings. When they encounter a new smell, they will often rub their face and body on it, to mark their territory. If they find the smell really interesting, they may display the Flehmen response (it looks like a cross between a smile and a grimace) which enables the animals to better interpret the scent.

Perfume is a favorite with many animals, with Obsession by Calvin Klein as a preference because of it’s scent profile and musk. Other strong “old lady perfumes” work well, and we like to switch it up and expose the animals to new scents. Some cats like rosemary or catnip. Anthony Leopard likes lemon oil, and Tio Tiger loves cloves. Ocelots seem to really like Axe body spray, the bigger the cloud, the better.

What can you do to help? 

Send us your pumpkins! Our animals would love the gift of an uncarved, unpainted pumpkin to explore. We will be collecting pumpkins at the sanctuary (Pittsboro, NC) through November, so keep us in mind when you clean off your Halloween porch decorations. We can also use your old body sprays, perfumes and colognes. When you’re done with your Christmas trees, we will take them, as well. (Also undecorated. Decorations can be toxic to animals.)


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!