Carolina Tiger Rescue, formerly the Carnivore Preservation Trust, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit wildlife sanctuary whose mission is saving and protecting wild cats in captivity and in the wild.

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Jellybean Tiger


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Jellybean had the notorious distinction of being Carolina Tiger Rescue's white tiger. He originally came through a contact at the Nashville zoo who knew Dr. Bleyman (Carolina Tiger Rescue's original founder). Jellybean was a surplus cub in a litter of white tigers. He received his name because the pads on his paws resembled pink jellybeans when he was small.

Jellybean was simply put, spoiled. His coloring generated lots of extra attention from visitors, even though he preferred his white coat be as dirty as possible. Jellybean greeted groups regularly, glowing in the dim light of sunset at the end of Twilight Tours, begging for treats with Chewbacca impressions, and loving the limelight. Jellybean was not all "me, me, me." He was sensitive enough to pick up on the moods of his visiting friends, and was willing to come off his pedestal for an encouraging visit. In his last few years, he was perhaps not as enthusiastic about visitors as he once was, but he always remained enthusiastic about treats!

In June of 2015, we lost Jelly .

In the weeks prior, Jellybean began losing interest in food, very uncharacteristic. But in typical Jellybean fashion, he rebounded and did well until the day before his last. When staff and interns did rounds, we noticed that he wasn't moving around like normal. Upon consulting with Dr. Lassiter, our veterinarian on staff, we decided that we would knock him down, do blood work and perform an ultrasound. At his age, sedation was a great risk, but clearly he was compromised. His blood work looked pretty good for a tiger his age (almost 18). Unfortunately, the ultrasound showed that he had left-side heart failure. Due the severity of the failure, his quality of life was greatly suffering and we made the decision to euthanize. Upon necropsy, we also found evidence of chronic kidney disease.

Jellybean touched many, many people. So many guests came out and asked if they will get to see Jelly; he was particularly famous with our field trip kids. He also provided one of the most important lessons for Carolina Tiger Rescue visitors. Guides could explain how many private breeders will inbreed tigers with the white gene in an attempt to get the popular white offspring. This practice results in surplus orange tigers that need homes and many tigers with the genetic disorders and disfigurations common in inbred animals.

For many of the staff and a few long-term volunteers, Jellybean represented the last big cat remaining from when they first came to Carolina Tiger- meaning the loss of a legend, the end of an era, and the loss of a friend. We are eternally grateful to be able to care for such beautiful creatures as Jellybean and for the support of our donors and volunteers that enable us to do so.