I had the opportunity to visit the Carolina Tiger Rescue on Monday. This organization rescues wildcats (tigers, lions, and such) and provides these animals a home that is safe, respectful, and humane for as long as they live. They take in wildcats from all over the world and try to educate the public about the issues of wildcats in captivity. This is an excellent organization that cares for and feeds these rescued animals without any state or federal funding assistance. In other words, they rely on people like you and me to help them out. If you think this is a worthwhile cause, you may consider giving them a tax-deductible donation (they are a 501(c)3 nonprofit).
The animals at CTR are beautiful, majestic creatures and are very well cared for by a small staff and many volunteers. They conduct periodic public tours (you must per-register and buy your ticket) to educate people about the animals they keep. The tour I went on was approximately 2 hours worth of interesting information and a chance to see these animals much closer than you could at any zoo (sorry, you still can’t pet them). If I remember correctly, the tickets are not very expensive and a good portion of those sales goes directly to the Carolina Tiger Rescue. There are some excellent photo opportunities to be had and I have included a few of the pictures I was able to get. (EDIT: From the feedback I received from Amanda at CTR, there is a $1.50 processing fee for purchasing the tickets. The price of a ticket (in-season) listed on their website is $15.50, which includes this fee.)
As a side note, I am still learning photography, so this was a fantastic learning experience for me in that way too. I was trying my best to get pictures without too much fence, but the closer they are to the fence, the harder it seems to do that. And, yes, they do come close (I was about 3-4 feet from most of these animals and their habitats, but behind the people barriers). I also got to try out some panning shots. Unfortunately those didn’t work out well for me this time. Oh well. I’ll have to try again soon.
Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy the pictures!