Behind the scenes at Carolina Tiger Rescue

Wes Hohenstein presents check to Carolina Tiger Rescue.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Carolina Tiger Rescue is receiving $2,700 from the Three-Degree Guarantee for June. It’s the fourth most money given out since the program started more than two years ago.

The Pittsboro-based rescue currently has 40 animals on the property including – but not limited to – lions, tigers, cougars and ocelots.

Carolina Tiger Rescue began as the Carnivore Evolutionary Research Institute, an organization founded in the 1970s by UNC geneticist Dr. Michael Bleyman. The name was changed to Carolina Tiger Rescue in 2009 when it became a 501(c)3 nonprofit wildcat sanctuary, whose mission is saving and protecting wildcats in captivity and in the wild.

The rescue gets their animals in a number of ways from finding young animals that have to abandoned or lost to helping other facilities that go out of business or perhaps are overcrowded.

Since North Carolina is one of five states where it’s legal to own a lion or tiger as a pet, the rescue also takes in some that have been pets.

“We take in those animals that people can no longer take care of and are starting to realize that they’re not good pets,” said Katie Cannon, education director for the Carolina Tiger Rescue. “We give them lifelong homes.”

She said it’s been a while since they last took in a pet so she’s believes that means that people are getting the idea that the best place for them is in an accredited facility.

Carolina Tiger Rescue gives tours and accepts donations to help maintain enclosures, feed animals and pay medical bills. For more information, go to

WNCN meteorologists predict the weather for each day and if they are within three degrees, another $100 goes into the contribution level.



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