Lily’s Story

Lily came to Carolina Tiger Rescue with her enclosure mate, Macano, and 14 other animals from a facility in Colorado.  This facility was closed down when the owner fell ill.  Carolina Tiger Rescue worked with several other sanctuaries around the country to find homes for over 100 animals.  Lily was a nervous animal who became anxious if there were a lot of people around, therefore she lived away from the tour path with Macano.  She enjoyed sleeping in the sun on top of her platforms and rooting around for superworms in the meals the keepers left for her.

Lily’s Passing

October 10, 2018

We had been treating Lily for skin irritation for the past few months.  Her skin continued to be problematic, so we scheduled her for a physical.  During her physical, we took skin biopsies and ran other diagnostics.  That evening, we put her back in her enclosure but kept her separated from Macano so that she could finish recovering from the anesthesia.  The next morning, Keeper Larissa checked on her and found her wheezing.  Dr. Lassiter was worried that she had some upper respiratory irritation from the anesthesia.  We brought Lily up to the house and monitored her throughout the day and gave her some medication to help with the wheezing.  Unfortunately, as we were getting her indoor enclosure ready, she went into respiratory distress.  We intubated her and performed CPR, but we were unable to restart her heart.

Dr. Lassiter performed a necropsey on her and found that she had a spontaneous pneumothorax (collapsed lung).  We looked for any signs of trauma (the most likely cause of pneumothorax) but no evidence of trauma was found.  We did find a mass behind her trachea which looked abnormal.  We have sent off the mass and her lungs for histopathology.  We have multiple working theories at this point about what happened, but we don’t want to speculate without the histopathology results. 

We know that many of you enjoyed Lily’s silly antics.  It was always great fun to watch her use her crazy nose to nuzzle through food to find her favorites (in case you are not aware, coatis have a prehensile nose that they are able to control in order to find grubs and worms in the ground).  or to see her extreme excitement with fun-smelling enrichment.  And not the least of all, we have all enjoyed watching Lily and Macano interact.  It was absolutely heartwarming to watch them snuggle and groom one another.  I know that not only is my heartbroken from the loss of Lily, but also for Macano who will miss her even more.

I am simply beyond words for how sad this week has been for everyone.  There is never a good time to say goodbye to an old friend, but sometimes it seems even more painful.

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