Elvis is our most well-known serval at Carolina Tiger Rescue.  He was literally dropped off on our doorstep by a private owner who realized that Elvis’ aggressive tendencies did not make him a good pet.  Elvis is a favorite on tour.  He enjoys coming up to see who has come to visit him and is always ready for a treat.  Elvis is most notable for his long, slender look and social nature.  His sociability will not stop him from giving you a hiss or snarl if you get too close, reminding you of his wild nature.

Born April 27, 2007
Rescued April 27, 2009

How Elvis Came to the Sanctuary

On Sunday, April 26, 2009, Carolina Tiger Rescue received a call from a woman stating that her friend owned a pet serval that she could no longer care for. The caller would not identify herself and asked if we could take the serval. It was explained to the caller that the owner of the animal would need to speak with our curator to arrange the rescue. Though our curator was not on duty that day, the caller was given her contact information and it was also explained to the caller that we currently had two tigers in quarantine and so did not have room for another new animal at that time.

The next morning, our curator discovered a full grown serval in a small dog crate at the entrance. A note left on the crate said that the serval's name was Elvis. After being examined, Elvis was found to be malnourished, weighing far less than he should have. He also had evidence of a collar having grown into his neck and he had scarring on his forehead that we believe came from him constantly rubbing his face on the crate.


Elvis can be a very social serval and will often come up to the fence to greet tour guests and volunteers.  He will, however, remind someone if they are too close by hissing at them and backing away.


Elvis sports the long legs and neck of a typical serval. One morning in 2016, it was noticed that Elvis' left hind leg was severely broken and it had to be amputated. Elvis has recovered beautifully and gets around with a bit of a hop, not letting the injury slow him down. After a few quiet weeks, Elvis was put back on tour and is loving all the attention again. We were not able to determine exactly how Elvis broke his leg. His enclosure was checked thoroughly by several keepers and it was deemed safe for him to return to after his surgery.

Where in Sanctuary

Elvis lives off tour in Pear Orchard, behind Monaco, Rio, Cairo and JJ bobcats.

Pet Trade

North Carolina is one of four states in the U.S. where it is legal to own a non-native species. In other words, it is legal in North Carolina to own a lion, tiger, or other wild cat. Elvis' story is a direct result of this lack of legislation. Because of how easily animals such as Elvis can be acquired, people are obtaining them as pets and then realizing, sometimes at the expense of a human or animal life, that this is not a good idea. Animals such as Elvis deserve to be respected as the wild animals they are.

Leptailurus serval

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 info@carolinatigerrescue.org

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.