Tigers get meaty Halloween treats

Monday, October 30, 2017
Tigers get meaty Halloween treats
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Tigers get meaty Halloween treats

PITTSBORO, North Carolina (WTVD) -- For tigers at the Carolina Tiger Rescue in Pittsboro, Halloween treats consist of pumpkins stuffed with deer pelt, raw chicken and bird wings.

Four orange tigers named India, Carolina, Caprichio and Shenandoah and one white tiger named Saber got those Halloween treats Monday.

Some pumpkins, which were donated, were even sprayed with perfume since many tigers enjoy scents.

"They'll typically bat them around. They'll crush them. And they'll kind of play with them like soccer balls, in a sense," said Cara Vitale, the keeper at Carolina Tiger Rescue. "They'll dig their claws into them because typically when they dig their claws into things they're kind of scent-marking them. When they do that, they're like, 'this is my pumpkin.'"

The 55-acre sanctuary is a nonprofit housing tigers, lions, cougars and kinkajous. It's dedicated to saving and protecting wild cats in captivity and in the wild. Most animals housed at the sanctuary were used as props in roadside zoos, were personal pets or were rescued from failing sanctuaries.

They're only fed five times a week to mimic life in the wild. The pumpkins are tasty treats for them.

"We are basically hiding their food in something that they wouldn't normally eat it in so we're kind of simulating that hunting type mechanism," Vitale said. "It's Halloween-themed enrichment that we give them and they love it."

The sanctuary is accepting more pumpkin donations.

For more information visit carolinatigerrescue.org.