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’s 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 offered by the tour guide. 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.
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 came in to work and 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 undernourished, 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. In 2016, one morning, 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.
Elvis is located on Sweet Gum Trail and is the second stop on the tour route.
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. Due to 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 life, or the animal's life, that this isn't a good idea. Animals such as Elvis deserve to be respected as the wild animals they are.