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 is home to at least six animals who were used for cub petting, an industry that allows the public to handle cubs. People can take pictures with or, in pay-to-play industries, pay to have other interactions with cubs. The detrimental effects on both the cub and the mother go ignored when these beautiful animals are used for profit. Many of them have to live with the scars of the industry for years to come — those lucky enough to make it a sanctuary. 

The cubs are only useful to businesses for four weeks of their lives, when they are small enough to handle. Once they get too large and aggressive, they are discarded to the pet trade market or roadside zoos. Some are sadly euthanized. 

Three of our resident tigers, Carolina, Caprichio and India, and three of our resident lions, Sheba, Roman and Reina were bred for profit. Sheba Lion, who is now 16, started her life on a leash. Her owner walked her up and down the beaches of Cancun, collecting money for people to take pictures with her.

We have four other residents who were very likely used for cub petting. Saber and Shenandoah Tiger are both defanged and declawed on all four paws. These modifications are common in the industry as an attempt to make the animal safer. Both tigers will likely develop arthritis. Their teeth are filed down so far that the nerve is exposed, meaning a big-cat dentist will have to pay them a visit in the future. 

Reina Lion was bred for profit. Now 9, she can live her life with dignity at Carolina Tiger Rescue. 

Caprichio Tiger

Why you shouldn’t cub pet

  • Cubs may be underfed or suffer physical modifications 
  • Cubs are stripped away from their mothers almost immediately 
  • Mothers are breeding far more than they are meant to 
  • Cubs are discarded after just a few weeks

Carolina Tiger

Cub petting can have other disastrous implications on animals. Many of them are underfed or fed an improper diet, which can lead to metabolic bone disease. Caprichio Tiger may likely suffer from it, as his recent X-rays showed us how bad his knees are; he’s only 7.

Mothers used for cub petting are also breeding far more than what she would in the wild, draining her physically and emotionally. Her cubs are supposed to spend the first two years of their lives with her, learning how to be the predator that they will grow to be.


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!