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Carnivore Preservation Trust grieves death of Romeo tiger

Posted Tuesday, July 14, 2009

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Pittsboro, NC - Carnivore Preservation Trust (CPT) announced that Romeo tiger passed away at 9:30 a.m. Monday. Romeo’s health had been declining for a couple of months as a result of a progressive neurological disease, making it increasingly difficult to control his hind legs. For his comfort, he was removed from the tour route two weeks ago. Romeo’s condition took a marked downturn last week, prompting Curator of Animals, Kathryn Bertok, and Veterinarian, Dr. Angela Lassiter, to schedule him for euthanasia.

Staff, Romeo’s adoptive parents, and other members of the “CPT Family” were given unlimited visitation this past weekend to say their goodbyes to him. Yesterday morning he passed away peacefully surrounded by his CPT family.

Romeo was one of CPT’s most widely known animals. He was rescued from a private owner in Durham when he was six months old. Romeo grew to be twelve feet long (from his nose to the tip of his tail) and was estimated at one time to weigh over 800 pounds, making him a very large tiger by standards even in the wild. He was a favorite on tours and was particularly notorious as one of the cats who would spray (mark) you if he got the chance. Executive Director Pam Fulk said, “Every animal here at CPT is precious to us and we mourn every one of them when they pass on. Some of our animals, like Elwood jaguar and Romeo tiger, attain celebrity status and become very popular in the community. We know that many others share our grief for the loss of such a magnificent animal and member of our CPT family.”

CPT’s mission is saving wild cats in captivity and in the wild. The 55-acre sanctuary located just east of Pittsboro, N.C., is home to 80 animals including tigers, ocelots, binturongs and more. CPT offers guided walking tours by reservation only on weekends, most holidays, and selected other dates, as well as Twilight Tours for adults only (13+) every Saturday night in season and birthday parties for kids (6 – 12). For tour times and information, visit or call 919-542-4684.

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