We love field trips so when a local homeschool group asked about visiting the local Carolina Tiger Rescue center I was more then excited to sign up! This was a great trip for the kids and I’m sure over the years we will go back as they learn and grow.
Our homeschool group was divided into two smaller groups for the animals’ comfort. I had no idea they would be so spooked, because I have only seen animals like this in a zoo where hundreds of people walk through every day.
The tour was very informative. Although it was a little hotter than I would have liked that day, it was wonderful to talk with a volunteer that was so intimate with the animals. Knowing their likes and dislikes and ensuring their comfort was his first priority.
I wanted to share with you a couple of the most important things we learned during our visit to the Carolina Tiger Rescue.
1. Big cats are predators not pets! Buying a tiger or cougar can be almost as cheap as buying a dog, but these animals are not domesticated. Even if they are raised from birth by a family, they could return to their instincts at any time. They do not belong in a private home.
2. Donations are always needed. Time, money, materials, thoughts and payers. While we visited, volunteers were creating a cage for additional animals and our tour guide informed us we could adopt an animal to help pay for their food and care. Adopting mean they animal stays at the center with your funding and love.
3.Enrichment. The caregivers at the center offered enrichment opportunities to the animals. They would put shipment boxes, old tires, blankets, pumpkins or anything that will enhance their curiosity and keep them entertained in their cages. Very interesting to see how they kept the animals entertained.
4. There is no such thing as premium wild animal food. The story of Elvis is in the YouTube video at the bottom of this post. The people who dropped him off on the doorstep of the Carolina Tiger Rescue said they fed him premium food, but there is no such thing. Wild animals eat meat! Although it is sold, food labeled as premium will not give wild animals the nutrients they need.
5. Well loved animals. It was obvious at this center that the animals were well loved. The video explains how workers tried all method to make the animals feel comfortable and safe. Memorial set up for lost animals too. Another example of the love and caring of the animals.
6. White tigers are related to each other. During our tour we met Jellybean. He is a while tiger left over from the 1990’s white tiger surge. Interesting that since white tigers are a recessive gene tiger they are all related to each other. This can cause insest related deformities and health issues.
This is a wonderful video on the story of the Carolina Tiger Rescue.
We really enjoyed our trip and I hope you have an opportunity to visit a animal rescue center near you!
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