TheBlack Tie & Tails Ball supports the work of Carolina Tiger Rescue in Pittsboro, NC. The organization is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that rescues wildcats from the pet trade and provides conservation education to the public. Carolina Tiger Rescue provides lifelong sanctuary to abandoned, neglected, and confiscated wildcats from the pet trade and entertainment and commercial ventures. For more information, visit: CarolinaTigerRescue.org
Carolina Tiger Rescue’s mission is important. The trade in exotic pets is so rampant, legislation and enforcement so lax, that there are more tigers in private ownership in the United States than there are left in the wild. North Carolina residents are prohibited from owning native wildlife, such as a chipmunk, but can legally own a tiger, regulated only by county or city guidelines.
Our highlighted animal this year is the tiger. Tigers are the largest of all the cat species. Of the nine tiger subspecies, three are now extinct (Javan, Caspian, and Bali.) There are only about 3,800 tigers left in the wild. Tigers are now listed as endangered, mostly due to poaching and habitat loss. Every hour, an area the size of 300 football fields is destroyed in many of the subspecies’ habitats. At this rate, wild tigers will lose their habitat entirely in the next few years. Much of the remaining tiger habitat is being clear cut for palm oil plantations. Palm oil is a very easy and cheap crop to grow, and as a result, it is now an ingredient in over 50% of consumable goods.
Shenandoah came to Carolina Tiger Rescue with her enclosure mate Saber and 14 other animals from a pay to pet / rescue facility out west. This facility was closed down when the owner fell ill. Carolina Tiger Rescue worked with several other sanctuaries from around the country to find homes for over 100 animals. This was the largest rescue in Carolina Tiger Rescue's history!
Shenandoah is very reserved and much more laid back than her enclosure mate Saber. She prefers to view the action from afar and cannot easily be coaxed up to the fence for a visit, unless of course it is time for her meal.
Shenandoah has very light coat with very light stripes. It is almost as if she has been washed out by the sun. Shenandoah also has canines, the large teeth at the top and bottom of her jaw, that have been filed down - a practice very common among cubs that are used in cub petting or cub photo-op businesses. Cub petting is when tourists are allowed to take pictures and feed bottles to cubs for money. Those who own the cubs often file down the cubs' teeth, or sometimes even pull them, and have them declawed to make them "safe".
Other tigers, lions, ocelots, caracals, servals, and cougars share their own stories with the 19,000+ visitors that tour Carolina Tiger Rescue each year. Visitors interact with the animals from as close as 3 feet from their habitat, an intimate experience designed to engage visitors and galvanize them into action. Trained Tour Guides teach visitors about the threats to wildcats in captivity and in the wild and how visitors can change those circumstances.
Proceeds from the Black Tie & Tails Ball contribute to the care of Carolina Tiger’s animals and developing programs: educational tours, student and corporate work groups, youth camps, animal internships, conservation research, and volunteer opportunities. Please join us at the Black Tie & Tails Ball to support our very special animals.