Sheba Lion


January 1, 2002

November 12, 2010

Passed away
July 19, 2019

Sheba’s Story

Sheba was originally used as a “Pay-to-Pet” cub in Mexico and was walked up and down the beaches of Cancún on a leash. When she was about six months old, her owner decided she was too much to handle and she was rescued and sent to the Wild Animal Orphanage (WAO) in Texas. WAO shut down in 2010 and over 300 animals had to be rehomed. Carolina Tiger Rescue rescued ten animals, including three lions and seven tigers.

Sheba’s Passing

July 23, 2019

We have sad news to share about the loss of Sheba Lion. Sheba got overheated this past week due to vomiting after she ate her meal, not that she just got too hot because of the weather. The animal care team saw her vomit and kept watch over her the entire time. They called for additional help when it was clear that she was not able to recover on her own. We started her on cool IV and SubQ fluids and other cooling techniques. Unfortunately, her age made her more susceptible to the increased temperatures. It is likely that her kidneys and liver were already not in the best of condition before this and simply couldn’t handle the additional stress. At 17 plus years of age, most cats have some kidney issues or other health issues that make them more fragile.

Sheba will forever be remembered as the matriarch of the pride of three that came to us from Texas. She always kept Sebastian and Tarzan in line and was the first to work out new enrichment items. Her confidence and leadership was seen the moment she stepped into Quarantine on her first day. Rather than being worried about the new people, she felt the need to walk around and check out everything about her new space. She walked the perimeter, stood on her hind feet and looked at the roof, and sniffed every corner. While Sebastian and Tarzan hold a special place in my heart as the more delicate members of the pride, Sheba will also stand out to me as the epitome of what it means to be a lion – strong, confident, and smart. Her presence will be greatly missed in the sanctuary, but most especially on Oak Hill.

While I know that learning of the loss of Sheba is heartbreaking, I do want to take this time to reflect on the Carolina Tiger Rescue family. I have always said that one of the reasons I have been here so long is the people. And it’s true. The people that we have working here, both staff and volunteers, are incredible. Not only do I consider them friends, I’m always impressed with how they handle themselves. This crisis was no different. Not only did they respond quickly and professionally when things were critical, they kept going long after the sun had set and were back ready for more when things had not improved. We had staff at the house that stayed just as late to make sure we had back up and brought down food when it was clear we would not be leaving in time for dinner. There is no other team that I would rather have by my side. Thank you for all that you do every day, and even more for what you do when called upon in an emergency.

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

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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.

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Get involved at Carolina Tiger Rescue

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Individual Volunteering

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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.