Madonna Tiger

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.

Madonna Tiger


August 17, 2005

September 18, 2014

Passed away
May 7, 2023

Madonna’s Story

Madonna was rescued from a failed roadside zoo in Alabama in 2014. The former roadside zoo was closed down due inhumane and unsafe conditions. While the roadside zoo was closed, the owner was allowed to keep her animals. In 2014 when her health started to decline, the decision was made to rehome her animals to accredited sanctuaries. Carolina Tiger Rescue rescued Madonna, Tears, Leah, and Tasha.
While Madonna never liked crowds or the tour path, she always enjoyed when her keepers, staff, and some volunteers would come visit. For those she liked, she had lots of chuffles and would walk along the fence with. If Madonna was not a fan of yours however, she made it known very quickly with a snarl or roar. It’s hard not to love a tiger who knows what she likes. Unlike most tigers, she took her time eating her food and made her keepers wait for what seemed like forever for her to finish one piece so they could drop down the next. 

Madonna’s Passing

May 23, 2023

I’m sorry to come to you with sad news from the sanctuary. We recently said goodbye to Madonna Tiger. We knew we were on borrowed time after finding a large mammary tumor last year. Often these tumors spread, even if we can’t see additional tumors at the time of discovery. A new tumor was found recently and removed, but we could already see that the cancer had spread elsewhere. Sadly, her health continued to deteriorate after the tumor removal and the decision was made to say goodbye. Even though we knew that we had limited time left with Madonna, it doesn’t make the loss any easier to bear. 

Madonna was a wild spirit! She has always had very bold opinions about her likes and dislikes. We originally kept her towards the back of the sanctuary, but that didn’t seem to be a good fit for her. She was bored and clearly wanted to see some more action. We moved her up in the sanctuary, but than that was too much attention. In the end, our little Goldilocks found that she much preferred to be close enough to the tour route to see what was going on, but far enough away that she only saw a few people during the day. We were happy to accommodate her wishes. 

While she didn’t want to be on the tour route, make no mistake – this girl loved having visitors. When you approached her enclosure, you may not have been able to find her easily at first, since her favorite game was hide and seek. She would hide behind den boxes or behind a tree and stalk you as you approached. But once the fun of stalking you was over, she was a chatty tiger that was full of chuffles and moos. But I also realize this wasn’t the same tiger that everyone met. If she wasn’t your biggest fan, she knew how to dismiss you. This tiger suffered no fools! 

The loss of Madonna will be felt in the sanctuary for a long time. While she wasn’t on tour, she made her presence known. Her vibrant personality and endless chuffles made her a quite the enchanting tiger. 

With a heavy heart,
Kathryn Bertok
Assistant Director