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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Lucky Tiger


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In June, 1998, police pulled over a car for a traffic violation, and found a 40 pound tiger cub in the backseat. The Michigan Humane Society took custody of the cub, dubbing him "Lucky". The MHS searched for an acceptable home for Lucky for two years, before the Detroit Zoo agreed to place Lucky at the Belle Isle Zoo.

The Detroit Zoo sought a buddy for Lucky, and found a suitable match here at Carolina Tiger Rescue (then CPT) in a female tiger named Carmelita. Carmelita left cagemates Tex and Jellybean to live at the Belle Isle Zoo.

When the Belle Isle Zoo closed, Carmelita and Lucky were transferred to the Detroit Zoo until a suitable home could be found. The Detroit Zoo approached Carolina Tiger Rescue in the fall of 2006, and Carolina Tiger Rescue was delighted at the prospect of bringing Carmelita home with her new friend, Lucky.

So Lucky accompanied Carmelita in her return home. Lucky was the first to try out the new pad, but was a little reluctant in the new settings. His Detroit Keeper eased him into his new home with a few licks of his favorite baby food.

Videos of the Arrival

Lucky cautiously checks out his new home.
The Release! Fast / Slow
Lucky's Trepidation Fast / Slow
The Bribe Fast / Slow
Success with baby food
Fast / Slow
The Investigation Fast / Slow
Hello Fast / Slow
Lucky meets Keeper Sarah Fast / Slow

During his time at Carolina Tiger, Lucky endeared himself to staff, volunteers, and tour guests as he was so happy to come up for a visit! He enjoyed the presence of people so much that he frequently would chase off Carmelita so that he could enjoy the attention. He would also perform for his fans- splashing in his water tub, or devouring his favorite treat- chicken baby food! He also liked to play "stalk an pounce" with the tour guides

In March, 2012, Dr. Lassiter was finishing up her rounds, and Keeper Lauren asked her to stop and look at Lucky Tiger as he was holding his head funny. What we had hoped was an infection (he was being treated with antibiotics) was more than likely a brain tumor. As Lucky would eating, his tongue was not moving normally expect and his eyes were not focusing correctly. These changes were indicative of a brain tumor . Lucky was put under anesthesia, and Dr. Lassiter checked his ears but everything looked normal. During his anesthesia he stopped breathing and passed away on his own.

Lucky was certainly a very strong personality that is greatly missed by both family and visitors alike.

Tribute by Kathryn Bertok & Amanda Byrne ?????????????????.

Photo/s courtesy of Kathryn Bertok, ©Carolina Tiger Rescue