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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Shadow at Collins Zoo, photo courtesy the Humane Society of the United States

I came to Carolina Tiger with Smokey Leopard and Star Cougar. We were seized from the Collins Zoo in Mississippi in January, 2012, as part of a raid by some official looking folks [MS Department of Wildlife and the Humane Society of the United States].
Apparently some of these people had been checking in on us as part of an "undercover investigation", whatever that means. Smokey, Star, and I were crated and put into a box truck for the long drive to North Carolina.

When we arrived, I was second off the bus. I'd been in the dark of the truck most of the day, and had no idea where we were going, so when I walked into a cinderblock room I was scared and hid behind some hay. Later I found that hay to be kind of tasty.

QuikClip of arrival to Karen's Keep quarantine, January 26th, 2012

The next month was an experience. I was doing OK, but Smokey was agitated, and Star wouldn't stop howling. The people said she was in heat. I don't know what Smokey and Star were upset about; the people spoke very kindly to us and brought food and toys. (Although one day they shot me with a dart, and I fell asleep. I woke up very groggy).

Smokey and I moved to our outdoor habitat, which is much nicer. There's places to get up high so we can see all around us, plenty of shade, and denboxes if we feel like being alone.

Now I spend days lounging in the sun. I don't walk around much because I was declawed in Mississippi, and all four feet hurt! The people give me funny tasting stuff in my food, and that seems to help.

I love receiving a visitor now and then, so if you visit me I will roll around in delight! Smokey isn't as friendly with visitors, but she gets jealous that everyone pays attention to me. We're not as comfortable with the tour groups, but they don't come by our place.

Life looks pretty good from here. Even Smokey's coming around.

Shadow suffered a stroke the first week of April, 2014. The next couple of days she was very wobbly and continued to go downhill. On her last day, her eyes were droopy, she wouldn't take treats, and she couldn't get up. When the vet arrived, we determined her kidney disease had progressed leading to the stroke, and the decision was made to euthanize. On necropsy we discovered that some recurring cuts on her paws were where her claws were attempting to grow back- the result of a bad declaw prior to her rescue. She had mammary tumors as well.

Tribute by Amanda Byrne.

Photo/s courtesy of Amanda Byrne, ©Carolina Tiger Rescue