Carolina Tiger Rescue: Saving Wild Cats and Calling for Laws ‘With Teeth’ in the Regulation of the Exotic Pet Trade
In this episode, Donna chats with Kathryn Bertok, Curator of Animals at Carolina Tiger Rescue. The 55-acre Pittsboro, North Carolina facility has more than 70 animals in its care including tigers, binturongs, lions, cougars, bobcats, caracals, kinkajous, ocelots and servals. The organization is working toward the day when wildcats are not owned by individuals as pets; wildcats are not used for entertainment purposes; no trade exists for wildcats or their parts; and all wildcats prosper in sustainable, native habitats.
In this program, Kathryn and Donna center on all things tiger from chuffling (tiger speak) to mother-cub interactions to the tiger’s affinity for water (not only for drinking but for bathing). We hear how tigers are faring in the wild and in captivity. Kathryn shares some of the most heartbreaking truths of the $15 billion exotic pet trade that is devastating not only for the animals and their habitats, but for humans as well who are placed at risk when dangerous creatures are made “pets.” The show concludes with the story of Aria, a tiger confiscated from her “owner,” who is now—thanks to Carolina Tiger Rescue—on the road to recovery.
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Kathryn Bertok has been a member of the Carolina Tiger Rescue staff since August of ' 99. Her love of animals brought her to Carolina Tiger as an animal care intern. After completing her internship, she was offered an animal keeper position. From there she has worked her way up to Curator of Animals. During her time at here she has been a part of many changes as Carolina Tiger continues to grow. While working the animals is what brought her here, the people are what make it a place to call home. The family, both furry and non-furry, have made an invaluable and lasting impact on who she is as a person. In addition to working with animals, Kathryn also enjoys making jewelry. Her jewelry can be found right here in the Carolina Tiger gift shop.