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.



In the last 50 years the wild tiger population has dropped from 45,000 individuals to just 3,800 today. If the current trend continues, tigers could extinct in the wild by the year 2022.

Less than 100 years ago 9 subspecies of tigers roamed the far east, including Russia, China, Indonesia, India, Korea, and all the land in between. Poaching and habitat loss, however, wiped out the Caspian, Javan, and Bali subspecies who were all once found in Indonesia. The South China Tiger is considered functionally extinct. Though a few remain in zoos, one has not been spotted in the wild in the last 25 years.

Tigers have always been admired and feared by humans, which has led to their decline. As the human population increases, so does the demand for tigers natural habitat, its resources, and unfortunately also its parts. In some cultures, the entirety of a tiger’s body can be sold off, making the seller over $60,000. With the loss of the tiger though, comes the loss of thousands of other species of flora and fauna living in the same areas.

Unfortunately the fate of tigers in the United States is not much better. There are an estimated 10,000 tigers in the United States and only 6-7% of them are in accredited facilities. The rest are in the hands of private owners, roadside zoos, or the entertainment industry. It is estimated that there are more tigers in the state of Texas than than in the wild.

Wild Tigers and Tigers in Captivity

  • In the last 100 years wild tigers have lost over 93% of their habitat range.
  • Tigers are considered Umbrella Species, if we can save the tiger, all the plants and animals that live in its habitat will also be saved.
  • Currently there are still 4 states without any state laws regarding the private ownership of wild cats; North Carolina, Nevada, Alabama, and Wisconsin

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  • Tigers are the largest of all the cat species. They can weigh up to 700 pounds.
  • One of the main threats to tigers besides poaching is habitat loss. More than 300 football fields of tiger habitat is cleared every hour to make room for palm oil plantations. 
  • In the wild, the average lifespan of tigers is 8-10 years. In captivity they can live upwards of 20 years.
  • Tiger cubs in the wild will stay with their mothers for the first two years of their lives then will go off and find their own territory.


  • It is important to know that without drastic change, the fate of wild tigers is grim. It is predicted that if nothing changes, wild tigers may be extinct in just 4 or 5 years. You can help protect wild tigers by limiting your consumption of palm oil. Palm oil is in over 50% of consumable goods. if the demand of palm oil decreases, so will the number of palm oil plantations.
  • You can help captive tigers by avoiding cub petting. Tigers used in cub petting are generic tigers, that are not one specific subspecies, therefore they are not aiding in conservation. Places that allow you to hold, pet, or take pictures with tigers are using them for exploitation, and once those cubs are too big to be handled, they are often euthanized, sold into roadside zoos, the pet trade, or the parts trade. 

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.

Our Rescues
Bobcat at Carolina Tiger Rescue

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Caracal at Carolina Tiger Rescue

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Coatimundi at Carolina Tiger Rescue

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Cougar at Carolina Tiger Rescue

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Kinkajou at Carolina Tiger Rescue

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In Memoriam
Leopard at Carolina Tiger Rescue

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Lion at Carolina Tiger Rescue

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Ocelot at Carolina Tiger Rescue

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Serval at Carolina Tiger Rescue

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Tiger at Carolina Tiger Rescue

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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.

Ways to Support Carolina Tiger Rescue

Donate to Carolina Tiger Rescue


Big Cat Dinner Club Information

Big Cat Dinner Club

Whether it’s a monthly donation or a one-time gift, a symbolic animal adoption, a gift to the Big Cat Dinner Club, or any other kind of donation, your contribution to Carolina Tiger Rescue goes straight to work helping to save wild cats in need.  Don’t see what you are looking for, our development staff can help you find a meaningful way to support the cats!