“These are the animals that are the reason why you don’t see old animals in the wild. You don’t see sick animals in the wild. You don’t see lame animals in the wild, and its all because of the predator: the lion, the tiger, the leopard, all the cats.” -Tippi Hedren
Over spring break, I went on an Alternative Spring Break trip to Carolina Tiger Rescue in Pittsboro, North Carolina. Caroline Tiger Rescue is a non profit organization that rescues and provides forever homes for tigers, lions, leopards, ocelots, servals, caracals, mountain lions, and more that have endured terrible living conditions as pets, roadside zoo inhabitants, performers, etc. It was a service trip consisting of primarily outdoor work such as landscaping and improving big cat enclosures. Therefore, I had a lot of time to connect with the landscape over the course of the week. I was told by an employee that their several acres of land had been farmed since the 1800s. The area was then used as for a big cat breeding program from the 1980s until the early 2000s, and has since been converted to the wild cat rescue center that it is now.
There are 19 tigers currently residing on the property and tigers prefer forested environments. One of the best things about this area in terms of making it the best possible habitat for these animals is that it is primarily a forest consisting of enormous, old pine trees. There was a also a fair amount of woody underbrush, which my group was actually responsible for clearing in some of the animals’ enclosures. The main bird activity I noticed was an unfathomable number of turkey cultures cluttering the trees. I am assuming that are attracted to this area due to the amount of raw meat that is used to feed the cats.
Ocelot drinking from his water dish.
Serval in his heated den box.
Our work site salvaging metal parts.
Carolina Tiger Rescue in Google Maps.
Link to interactive map: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Carolina+Tiger+Rescueemail@example.com,-79.1157078,592m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x89acb93441f82cc5:0x68058d9e71692a98!8m2!3d35.707421!4d-79.1135191