Zari came to Carolina Tiger Rescue with her enclosure-mate, Kitwana, and fourteen other animals from a facility in Colorado. The owner decided to sell his land and donate his animals when he became ill. Carolina Tiger Rescue worked with several other sanctuaries around the country to find homes for over 100 animals. This is the largest rescue to date in Carolina Tiger Rescue’s history and the largest rescue of big cats in the United States. Zari was a feisty caracal who enjoyed bossing Kitwana around. She was easily recognized by her tufted ears, one of which always fell over, and her sassy attitude.
September 23, 2022
For quite some time we have been monitoring Zari Caracal for seizure activity. Sadly, there is rarely a fixable reason for an adult animal to develop seizures. We have had her on seizure medication for some time now, but when she began having breakthrough seizures we knew that our time with her was coming to an end. This week her condition deteriorated and we felt the kindest action was to let her go.
Zari and her enclosure-mate, Kitwana, were part of the Colorado rescue in 2016. Since their arrival at Carolina Tiger Rescue, the two of them have been the quintessential caracals. There was always a mix of sharing a cool space and then hissing at each other when waiting for food. I have to admit that caracals are one of my favorite cats. I greatly enjoy their confidence and sass, and that description fit Zari to a tee! While she was a tiny caracal, she was never short on personality. Though I must admit, it was sometimes hard to take her too seriously with her “broken party hat” tassels on one ear (one ear tassel often stayed straight up while the other flopped over).
While I know that not everyone knows the small cats as well as they know the big guys, their impact on our lives can be just as big. We spend so much time with them, particularly when their health begins to fail. I know that I will miss seeing Zari rubbing along the fence or even just relaxing on her tallest platform. I’m thankful that she got to spend the last years of her life at ease. I am incredibly proud of my staff who cared for her right until the end and who will continue to watch over all of the animals in the sanctuary.
I know that it’s hard to get sad news about the animals. However, I’m comforted knowing that their stories will continue to be told and that their memory will live on in the work that we do every day. Thank you for helping to share their stories.