Sam Ocelot


September 10, 2000

Born at
Carolina Tiger Rescue

Passed away
January 21, 2018

Sam’s Story

Sam was born here at Carolina Tiger Rescue when we were still a breeding facility for endangered and threatened small cats. From the very moment he came into this world, Sam was going to be his own ocelot. He did not seek out attention from his caretakers. He showed no interest in being part of a tour. He was most content to sit up in his tree and watch the world go by. In almost every picture we have of Sam, he is up in his tree. While he loved enrichment and eating (sometimes taking advantage of unsuspecting wildlife!), he in general preferred to be left alone. While that may not seem overly inviting, I always appreciated how much of a wild ocelot Sam really was. Most of our animals would never do well in the wild. For starters, they have become too accustomed to humans and would have to learn how to hunt. Sam, on the other hand, would probably have figured it out pretty quickly. Sam may not have been the most well-known ocelot at Carolina Tiger Rescue but he stole the hearts of those who did know him.

Sam’s Passing

January 21, 2018

Sam’s last blood work left us concerned about his kidneys. The elevated levels indicated that he was going into kidney failure. Kidney failure is a tricky disease for our wild cats. The ideal way to treat kidney failure is through administering fluids regularly. Anyone who knew Sam at all knew that was something he just was not going to put up with. We knew that by the time he was subdued enough for us to be able to give him fluids, he would be in bad shape. That unfortunately came true this weekend. Rather than stress him out beyond belief giving him fluids, we made the decision to let him go.

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
Learn about
Caracal at Carolina Tiger Rescue
Learn about
Coatimundi at Carolina Tiger Rescue
Learn about
Cougar at Carolina Tiger Rescue
Learn about
Kinkajou at Carolina Tiger Rescue
Learn about
Lion at Carolina Tiger Rescue
Learn about
NGSD at Carolina Tiger Rescue
Learn about
Porcupine at Carolina Tiger Rescue
Learn about
Raccoon at Carolina Tiger Rescue
Learn about
Red Wolf at Carolina Tiger Rescue
Learn about
Red Wolves
Serval at Carolina Tiger Rescue
Learn about
Tiger at Carolina Tiger Rescue
Learn about
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.