Shira Tiger


September 3, 2007

April 6, 2018

Passed away
April 1, 2023

Shira’s Story

Shira was rescued along with three other tigers, Kaari, Yanaba, and Tio, from a facility in the southwestern part of the United States in April 2018. Due to limited details and the ongoing situation, not much else is known about where the four tigers came from. Her name when she first arrived was Yashira. Carolina Tiger Rescue decided to shorten it to Shira to prevent confusion between her and the two girls she came with, who were named Yakira (then changed to Kaari) and Yanaba. Shira spent the last couple of years at Carolina Tiger Rescue, with Saber Tiger. Their opposite personalities complimented each other extremely well. Saber is social, energetic, and loves attention, while Shira was much happier in the background. They definitely enjoyed each other’s company.

Shira’s Passing

April 14, 2023

For the past few weeks we have been monitoring and treating Shira for gastrointestinal issues. We had her under anesthesia recently to run current blood work and to give her fluids. Her blood work was pretty normal, but throughout the week she continued to waver up and down, at times taking meds and eating and other times not. On Saturday we decided that we need to get her down again and perform more testing on her. During that exam, we performed an ultrasound on her heart and found that her heart was not contracting appropriately. After much discussion with our vet and animal care staff about her prognosis and options, we decided that the most humane decision would be to let her go.

Shira will always be remembered as a tiger with a lot of personality. She enjoyed enrichment and toys, including her big boomer balls. If you needed her to follow you, you could count her following a ball along the fence! She knew how to enjoy a cool pool during the summer and a cozy den box during the winter. Shira was a perfect enclosure-mate for Saber. She put up with all of his shenanigans but would also set her boundaries when needed. It was wonderful to watch the two of them figure out how to live together and flourish. The animal care staff will take extra care of Saber as he adapts to life without Shira. 

The loss of Shira will leave an imprint on us all. Particularly when we have been dealing with a decline in the health of an animal, the staff and volunteers spend extra time working with the sick animal and talk daily about how they are doing, what they are eating, and what we can do to help them feel better. It’s a weekly check-in on how we feel about their quality of life. It’s going back to food prep to see if there is something else they may want to eat. After spending so much extra time with them, it’s incredibly hard to say goodbye.  

We are extremely thankful for the support we receive from our Carolina Tiger Rescue family. We know it’s hard to hear what feels like unexpected news, but you never fail to send along your kind words and thoughts. We appreciate, more than you know, your trust in the decisions we make, especially when it comes to end-of-life decisions.  

While we are all grieving the loss of Shira, we are also able to find joy in the memories we can share about her. Her memory is added to the legacy of Carolina Tiger. Her life here is another story of how proud we are to be able to offer a safe and loving home to animals in need.  

Thank you for being a part of our family and helping us care for the animals.

Kathryn Bertok

Assistant Director

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.

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Cougar at Carolina Tiger Rescue
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Kinkajou at Carolina Tiger Rescue
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Lion at Carolina Tiger Rescue
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NGSD at Carolina Tiger Rescue
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Porcupine at Carolina Tiger Rescue
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Raccoon at Carolina Tiger Rescue
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Red Wolf at Carolina Tiger Rescue
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Red Wolves
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.