A Day with Tigers: Volunteering at Carolina Tiger Rescue
Kate Studwell, Former Project Manager
One of the many perks of being a Viget employee is the opportunity to give back to the local community; Viget supports two community service days a year for each team member.
Last week, a number of us in the Durham office took full advantage of this opportunity and headed to the Carolina Tiger Rescue in Pittsboro, NC, to help out.
The Carolina Tiger Rescue originally started as a breeder for large cats and was known as the Carnivore Preservation Trust. Their mission was to breed and raise large carnivores and give them a good home until their natural habitats became safer and they could release the animals to the wild. Unfortunately, many of the habitats for these large animals are still unsafe and the animals are still endangered. Given the number of exotic animals (mostly Tigers and other large cats) that needed to be rescued, the organization ceased the breeding program and instead switched focus to providing these animals a safe and permanent home.
Most of the animals were either pets or attractions in roadside zoos, and in many cases, they weren't treated well. Carolina Tiger Rescue stepped in to help, often after being contacted by authorities
The Viget team was excited to learn more about the cats, and to help the non-profit with some groundskeeping. We were responsible for mulch-spreading around the grounds and within a few of the enclosures. Roscoe, one of the tigers, had a mud pit in his enclosure, so the mulch helped to soak up the standing water and gave his pad an instant upgrade.
Below, Emily and Zach, along with one of the regular volunteers, dig up some mulch and load it into the Gator.
Mindy spreads mulch in Roscoe's enclosure, while Camilla the tiger keeps a close watch.
A close up of Camilla.
Jellybean, the only white tiger at the rescue. Contrary to popular belief, white tigers are not albinos. The white fur is a recessive trait, and all white tigers in captivity are known to be descendents of a white tiger that was captured in 1951, Mohan.
All in all, it was a great day! The Viget team enjoyed the opportunity to help out the tigers and to get to know them better - each tiger truly did have a unique personality.
If you're in the Durham or Chapel Hill area, I'd definitely recommend paying Carolina Tiger Rescue a vist. The organization offers tours to the public (but make a reservation in advance!) and lots of volunteer and donation opportunities. The organization is also supporting a bill in the NC State House of Representatives that would ban the ownership of certain wild animals, so check that out if you're interested!
And, if you're inspired by the idea of group volunteering and want some more ideas, check out some of these other recaps of past Viget community service days: