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Carolina Tiger Rescue puts paws to paint

Petee Ocelot paints with purple and pink egg-based tempera at Carolina Tiger Rescue in Pittsboro. (Courtesy of Carolina Tiger Rescue)

Petee Ocelot paints with purple and pink egg-based tempera at Carolina Tiger Rescue in Pittsboro. (Courtesy of Carolina Tiger Rescue)

To this day the tigers are still practicing their brush strokes.

Carolina Tiger Rescue is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving and protecting wild cats both in captivity and in the wild.

The organization, located in Pittsboro, carries on several different activities to educate the public about the needs and habits of wildcats.

It conducts field trips and safari camps to help advocate for the maintenance of sustainable native habitats for wildcats, or a proper, respectful environment for wildcats in captivity.

For the paintings, the tigers paint with egg-based paint and tempera paint that are non-toxic and washable.

These paints are safe for the animals to work with.

According to Katie Cannon, the education director at Carolina Tiger Rescue, the organization decided to inaugurate this program for both raising awareness about their mission and for the entertainment of the tigers and visitors.

“Tigers love to paint, and it is funny to watch them do so,” Cannon said.

“We sell their paintings in the ‘Pawcasso’ display in the gift shop, so next time you come to visit, check it out.”

The tigers’ paintings are priced from $10 to $60 in the sanctuary’s gift shop, called the Savanna Station, according to the size and appearance.

The Savanna Station also sells other items such as books, CDs and T-shirts, as well as the option to sponsor one of their animals.

Carolina Tiger Rescue accepts donations on their website, and donators can also choose to become a monthly sustainer and provide a stable source of income for the tigers.

When it comes to funding nonprofits, people make donations to or help fund organizations they strongly support.

“I’d rather help fund a nonprofit who works with people, such as the Red Cross,” said Chapel Hill resident Eesim Oon.

Chapel Hill resident Margarita Gjoni said since Carolina Tiger Rescue works with animals, she feels the need to donate.

“I think that we have a responsibility toward creatures of nature considering that as humans we harm and exploit nature in many ways,” Gjoni said.

Carolina Tiger Rescue offers a Big Cat Safari summer camp program for children aged 8 to 13 where participants can visit the animals daily, as well as help the tigers make their masterpieces.

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