There are fewer than 3,200 wild tigers living in their native habitats. In the U.S., there are anywhere from 5,000-10,000 captive tigers – due to a lack of regulation, the actual count is not known – with only 6% of those living in zoos or other accredited facilities. The rest have been bred purely for profit and are in private hands, sometimes with little to no regulation to ensure humane care and proper enclosures. From “pay-to-play” operations where individuals can pay to hold a cub or have their photo taken, to roadside zoos where cats are often kept in substandard enclosures, to those who wish to have wild animals as pets, the captive population continues to grow. There is an astonishing number of wild cats who require rescue and lifelong sanctuary after being neglected, abused, or even abandoned.
Carolina Tiger Rescue’s mission is to save and protect wildcats in captivity and in the wild. Carolina Tiger Rescue also encourages maintaining wildcats in sustainable native habitats, or when that is not a viable option, for the respectful, humane treatment of them in captivity. Take the Predators not Pets Pledge at CarolinaTigerRescue.org to help end private ownership of wildcats.