Reina is a spirited and energetic lioness who best resembles what you would see in the wild.  She thinks she is super sneaky and most of the time she is.  It is amazing that such a large animal can hide so well right in front of you!  Reina loves chasing trucks up and down the road as they go by.  When she is not chasing trucks, she can often be seen lying atop her denbox overlooking the sanctuary.

Born June 26, 2009
Rescued June 26, 2012

How Reina Came to the Sanctuary

Reina came to Carolina Tiger Rescue along with her enclosure-mate, Roman, from a failing rescue in Ohio. This sanctuary, Rescue One, was on the verge of closing due to lack of funding and new legislation the state of Ohio put into place after an incident in Zanesville, Ohio in 2011. In Zanesville, a private owner released 56 of his lions, tigers, cougars, wolves, leopards, and bears before committing suicide. Unfortunately, law enforcement was forced to shoot the animals due to concerns for public safety. The following year, Ohio banned private ownership of dangerous wild animals. The owner of Rescue One decided to close on her own and contacted Carolina Tiger Rescue to take some of her animals. Carolina Tiger Rescue rescued Roman and Reina Lion, Roscoe and Camilla Tiger, and Nakobi and Jericho Cougar in 2012.


Reina is a very serious lion who is only submissive to Roman, which is the role of the female lions in the wild. Reina, however, does like to have fun and is often the first of the two to attack enrichment and play with a ball or pumpkin that has been given to them.


Reina is a large lioness and is actually slightly larger than Roman, the male lion she lives with. Reina has the typical tawny fur and looks as though she would be right at home out on the savannah with her wild cousins.

Where in Sanctuary

Reina lives on tour with Roman Lion on Oak Hill. They live next to Tio Tiger.

Cub Petting

Before being rescued by Rescue One, Reina and Roman were involved in "cub petting". This is when the public is able, typically for a fee, to take pictures with and play with baby wild animals. This is a huge detriment to the animals involved. The cubs that are used for "cub petting" are taken from their mothers within days of birth so they do not imprint on their mothers and so their mother will go back into heat and can have more babies sooner. These cubs are also often sedated to prevent them from being too playful with the public. A playful cub can often inflict harm on a human unintentionally, as they have sharp claws and teeth. These cubs are also underfed to keep them small and to keep them hungry so they will be interested in the bottle of milk the public usually holds to keep the animal still on their lap. These cubs can only legally be used for the first couple months of their lives then they are deemed too dangerous, which leads many of them to be destroyed, sold into the pet trade, or sold to roadside zoos.

Panthera leo

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.

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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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.