Carolina Tiger Rescue | Pittsboro, NC

Saving and protecting wildcats in captivity and in the wild.”

That’s the mission of Carolina Tiger Rescue. It’s one of our favorite places to visit, both for the animals and the people who work with them. Each time we visit and post Instagram photos of these beautiful cats, we’re flooded with questions about Carolina Tiger Rescue (“CTR”): Where is it? What do they do? Can I go? Do they let you touch the tigers? What are you feeding them? What do you mean you adopted tigers, do they live with you? What kind of animals do they have there?

Quick response time: It’s in Pittsboro, NC; They save wild cats, big and small; Yes, they give wonderful tours!; No, there is a no-touch policy (whew, let’s keep our fingers and hands, folks); We bring beef & chicken for them - raw; All of the cats, big and small, live in wonderful enclosures at Carolina Tiger Rescue; CTR is home to tigers, lions, ocelots, servals, caracals, bintarongs, bobcats, cougars, leopards, and kinkajous.

Please note, Carolina Tiger Rescue has a membership drive going on right now! Visit their website here to learn more about the organization, and keep up with them on facebook here! Become a member or tour the facility to learn about their efforts, meet many of these amazing animals and hear their stories.

Now before we chat anymore, let’s see some of these cats! We’d like to introduce you to two tigers we’ve adopted, as well as an ocelot.  

This is Bali. He’s been at CTR since 2010, and we love him so. He’s not on the public tour route, but as adoptive parents we’ve trained to give private tours and can head back to his neck of the woods. We feel especially lucky to be able to get back to his enclosure to visit and bring him treats. He lives in one of the most peaceful places at CTR, in our opinion.

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One amazing thing about Bali is not just his size, but his ability to quickly and oh-so-quietly approach us when he sees us coming. An animal this large with such stealth is an amazing thing to witness in person. 

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We have two house kitties at home, and Bali sits for treats just like they do. But don’t be fooled. He’s such a sweet guy, but he is no house cat. :) 

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This was just seconds after Jordan tossed a chicken over the fence. And, he’s off!

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Chicken found, and gobbled in about 60 seconds.

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 Here is our dear Magoo, an ocelot. I don’t have any shots of him roaming about his enclosure, because he’s always immediately at the fence when he hears us. It may have something to do with us bearing meat treats.

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Magoo has a very distinct growling sound, which we think sounds exactly like a motorcycle. He was absolutely making that sound as I snapped this photo.

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Here’s Magoo enjoying some beef shish kabob tartare. While growling. Nomnomnom. Isn’t he handsome with that belly? It’s too bad that his mates are often hunted for their fur. Especially since it can take as many as 35 pelts to make one fur coat. Sad news, Magoo. But we’ll take care of you.

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 These beauties are, left to right, Christian, Kizmet, and Max. Max is our other adopted tiger. He lives with friends, and we love visiting all three of them. Here’s Jordan getting their beef tartare ready. We jokingly call these beef tips “tiger tictacs,” since they’re gone in about two seconds. Though they do still appreciate the small treats. :)

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Kizmet & Max (Christian in the background), sharing some love after a tiger tictac or two. :)

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We visit as many of the cats as we can, and would love to introduce you to a few more of our cat friends.

This is Rajah. He and his sister Kayla were found wandering a highway near Charlotte, NC in 2005. Thankfully CTR had a place for them to call home permanently.

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Kayla shares an enclosure with Rajah. On this day they both decided to relax in the shade as we passed by after our visit with Bali. 

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Jellybean, as you can see, is CTR’s white tiger, their one and only. They’re very rare and highly sought-after. Jelly is one of the most talkative cats at Tiger Rescue. 

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 Camilla is one of the newer rescues, and we happened upon her splashing in her pool on this visit. As soon as she saw us (and probably as soon as she smelled the meat we carried), she bounded out of the water towards the fence. Which resulted in one of my all-time favorite tiger photos. :)

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 Investigating…

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She seemed fairly comfortable with us after a while, rolling around like a house cat. 

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 There are also lions at CTR, and this is a new guy! Roman, it was very nice to meet you. 

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This is Rajahji, the elder Rajah. If you sign up for a tour, he’s the first tiger you’ll meet. He chuffs (and sometimes sprays), and is quite a social guy with guests.

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Handsome guy Raj - nice teeth!

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Here is a serval friend, though I’ll be honest and tell you I don’t know which one. But I’m always captivated by their markings, just like with the ocelots. Though what’s most amazing to me is their hind legs - they can jump vertically up to 10 feet in the air to catch birds. Ten feet! 

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Here is Camilla’s enclosure-mate, Roscoe. Hiding out in his den as the clouds rolled in.

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That’s all of the photos we have for now, but will continue to grab a few more with each visit to CTR. We bring friends and family when we can (so if you’d like to join for a private tour, please let us know), and encourage everyone we know to visit with or without us. They can always use your support, whether it’s through a membership, taking a tour, donations (monetary donations, volunteering, or food donations are all appreciated), or adoption.

And in closing, here’s a cute shot of my favorite private tour guide. :)

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~JAM

Josh + Tink

Hooray for new friends! This beautiful family happens to be friends with our dear Hagens, and we were so happy when they decided to join us for beach photos at Sunset. There was treasure hunting (sand dollars galore!), sky-flying (thanks to dad) and lots of running around and having fun. Just look at how sweet they all are!

Oh the squishy sibling hug - it’s the cutest!

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This is by far my favorite shot of the gorgeous “Tink” - love her nickname, too. :)

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Handsome guy Joshua - proud of his run to the water and back. :)

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Oh my goodness - the sweetest!

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This is father-son love.

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Checking out some treasures - Sunset Beach has many. 

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Favorite family shot - you all look beautiful in the evening beachy sunlight! It was a perfect day.

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Lots of seagull-chasing went on, but these guys didn’t go far. 

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Tink & Josh were given the chance to direct mom & dad for a few shots. My favorite request from them? “Do a cartwheel!” I like the big hug shot, myself. :)

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Beach treasures…sand dollars were just as valuable as real dollars here. Josh found pieces everywhere! And Jordan found this beautiful little shell for Tink - perfect for a necklace.

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You guys, we had an amazing time “shooting” you. Thanks for a wonderful evening on the beach!

~JAM

Jax + Cam + Fam

The first word I think of with this family is always, fun. I see more of them in my facebook feed these days than in real life…going to school, swim team, baseball, soccer, boating, fishing, sleepovers, vacations, and more. And we’ve known them since they were so very tiny - especially Camryn. :) I always get excited when we set up a photo session, since at one point in their lives I was photographing them weekly while I was their nanny. This time was especially fun since we met them at Sunset Beach. And that’s just what we had - tons of fun!

It’s so hard to walk instead of run to the beach. Especially when you’ve been out already and just can’t wait to get back that same day. I still feel the same way as an adult - the water calls these not-so-little ones just like it does me.

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Jackson is almost as tall as I am now, and getting more handsome every time we see him. Always love to see that smile!

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And Cam, with her gorgeous long beachy hair. When I started spending days with them, she had no hair. Now she’s just missing a tooth - knocked out by a wave on this trip. :)

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Both of these next shots are Jordan’s - he loves action shots, especially jumping ones. I love the look of sheer joy on their faces while they’re playing on the beach!

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We paparazzi’d Amy & Erik, though I have a feeling they knew we were there. :)

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These are two of the most loving kiddos we know. Jackson is the perfect big brother, taking care of his sis…

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…and Cam looooves him. :)

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Nothing like a game of hopscotch on the beach!

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I’m quite sure they would’ve stayed here til sundown. And I would’ve stayed here shooting the entire time, if I had enough memory cards. :)

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We love you guys - thanks, as always, for a fun fun fun (x25) time. :)

~JAM