Big Cat Rescue is the world’s largest accredited sanctuary dedicated entirely to abused and abandoned exotic cats. Celebrity supporters of the work being done by BCR include Bo Derek, Harrison Ford and Leonardo DiCaprio, and more.
Confiscated from a drug raid, got too old for the circus, neglected by an owner: these are just a few of the stories of this facility’s cats. But now they can enjoy a dignified life of leisure, play and socializing at this accredited big cat sanctuary, which is one of the largest in the world!
Let your tour guide relate their tales of hardship and triumph and take you to see some of the following:
- Meet a pair of frolicking leopards that leap from platform to platform in their fenced-in enclosure.
- See a chirping serval rescued from a basement and enjoying the sunlight it was denied during its ordeal.
- Witness the biggest and most impressive creatures in the refuge; the lions and tigers. Though they cannot be returned to the wild, discover how the sanctuary gives them the most natural existence possible!
We are closed on Thursdays. We offer guided tours on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday at 3 PM for adults and children 10 and over. On Saturday & Sunday we offer tours at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. for adults and children 10 and over.These are walking tours and take about an hour and a half. If you have children under the age of 10, they can ONLY visit by attending the 9 AM Kids Tour on Saturdays or Sundays.
|Sort by:||Date Attended||Gender||Age||Where From||Group Type|
informational, educational tour
|wgeorge||Sat, Sep 27 1:00 PM||Male||Unspecified||Domestic Tourist(s)||Individual|
Your was very informative, and they are doing great work here
Excellent, informative tour
|Nica717||Fri, Sep 26 3:00 PM||Female||40-49||Local||Family Without Children|
Amazing facility. Seeing a big cat up close and personal (5 - 6 feet away) is like nothing I've ever experienced. I will definitely be booking the photography tour once the weather cools down!
|angelika1||Tue, Sep 23 3:00 PM||Female||60-69||International Tourist(s)||Family Without Children|
We did not know what to expect und were surprised and impressed with the spacious enclosures and natural surroundings provided for each animal. We are glad this place takes care of the cats which have no place to go. There is only one thing we did not like . We were told to arrive 1/2 hour before tour time, which we did, because the tour needs to start on time and late arrival would not be able to join. Not so - we had to wait another 1/2 hour for some more people to arrive. One hour waiting is too long.
|2554jterry||Sun, Sep 21 1:00 PM||Male||30-39||Domestic Tourist(s)||Family Without Children|
Wonderful experience. They offered more knowledge and interaction than I had expected. I real highly recommend this place to every I encounter.
A great experience.
|Davidbrun||Sun, Sep 21 10:00 AM||Male||50-59||Local||Unspecified|
Very impressed with the tour and our tour guide. The cats seemed to be very well taken care. I look forward to going back soon..
An educational, fun, and inspiring experience
|fcizmar001||Sat, Sep 20 1:00 PM||Male||50-59||Domestic Tourist(s)||Family With Children|
I saw the ad for Big Cat Rescue when booking my airline tickets for a business/vacation trip to Tampa. I emailed a local coworker about it, and she responded that it was an "AWESOME experience!" After visiting, my wife and I wholeheartedly agree with my coworker's assessment. The tour is very well organized from the very beginning when guests receive their color coded wrist bands, through the introductory videos (some of which bring home the plight of these majestic animals), the offer of headsets that enable everyone to hear the tour guide clearly, the tour guide's knowledge of each of the animals, and up to the end of the tour, where tour guides show the stark reality of how lax or, in many cases, no laws, allow people to abuse these animals. My wife and I were truly moved by the experience. There are many ways to ease the burden of these beautiful animals, such as donating to Big Cat Rescue, participating in the Big Cat adoption program, and signing the petition to enact laws against private ownership of exotic animals. As our tour guide said near the end of our tour, it would be wonderful if Big Cat Rescue did not need to exist. I encourage everyone reading my review to visit, to become involved financially or otherwise, and to spread the word about the miraculous work of the volunteers at Big Cat Rescue that provides a worthy environment for these beautiful animals to thrive.
|dawnls||Fri, Sep 19 3:00 PM||Female||40-49||Domestic Tourist(s)||Individual|
Enjoyed my tour so much & hope to visit again soon!
|jrettich||Wed, Sep 17 3:00 PM||Female||60-69||Domestic Tourist(s)||Group of Friends|
Volunteer guides were professional, well-informed, and also considerate of us tourists who might not be accustom to the Florida heat and humidity. The guides were constantly aware of the big cats and moved us along when some of the cats seemed to need more privacy. They were also constantly aware of us tourists and checked with us at times to make sure that we were all doing ok. When I was bothered by mosquitos, one of the guides was quickly assigned to take me back the the building to spray me with mosquito repellant and then gave me a choice as to whether I wanted to rejoin the group. I did rejoin the group and I was please that I could do that. We were able to get very close to the big cats and the way the cages are designed, the cats could retreat from us if they desired to do so. Everything was clean and the cats looked comfortable and maybe even content. I was inspired that a group of volunteers are doing this good work. And at the end of the tour, it was so good to get political information about pending legislation to protect big cats in the USA. I am glad to know what I can do, politically, to help end the exotic pet trade and help end the practice of caging and chaining big cats for use in recreational businesses. thank you so much!
|Lamin67||Tue, Sep 16 3:00 PM||Female||20-29||Domestic Tourist(s)||Family Without Children|
This was one of the coolest experiences ever! It was a little confusing to find, but it was worth it. It was a one and a half guided tour where you are five feet away from lions, tigers, and other awesome big cats. The bugs like to feast on visitors, but they do supply bug spray. We got caught in a monsoon and had to walk back to the visitor center in it, so I suggest you bring a poncho just in case!
I love this place!
|tildesk||Mon, Sep 15 3:00 PM||Female||30-39||Domestic Tourist(s)||Couple on a Date|
I really enjoyed my visit. The tour was great and led by Denny, a wonderful tour guide of 13 years. He knew a lot about each cat and was able to answer most of our questions. I like the whole thing-atmosphere,, education on environment, cats, fur and wild animal trade, how to help big cats, and of course the stars themselves, the cats! I will definitely be going back. Thank you Big cat rescue for all of your hard work!
- Do I have to purchase tickets in advance?
- Advance purchase is required, and tours do sell out quickly. To maximize your chances of getting the day that you prefer, please book well in advance! Tickets can be purchased online or over the phone with a Visa, Mastercard, or American Express.
- Is there an age limit?
- Children under 10 years old are not permitted due to the topics covered on this tour and so that adults can enjoy the tour. Kids 10 years of age or older are welcome to attend as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. We do not make exceptions, no matter how well behaved you think your child is; only ages 10 and over on this tour. All attendees must purchase a full-price ticket.
- Can I bring food or toys for the cats?
- No, our diet is specific to their needs and we do not allow foods to be given to the cats that have not been approved by our vet and maintained under the most stringent quality controls. We do not give our cats toys that could cause harm if ingested so we do not permit toys from outside our own preselected vendors.
- Can I take pictures during my tour?
- YES! You are welcome to take photos and / or videos during your tour.
- Do I have to stay with the group, or can I wander?
- The only way to see the cats is on a guided tour, so you will not be able to wander away from the group.
- Are there restrooms?
- Yes, but we strongly suggest that you go before you get here because we have limited facilities and are on septic systems which cannot handle a lot of volume if there has been recent rain. There is a McDonald's right at the corner of Easy Street.
- What if it rains?
- The DayTour will still go out in a light rain as long as there is no lightning. If it is thundering or pouring rain, we may try to wait it out, or will offer a refund, or rescheduling.
- Can I bring my pet?
- Is there a charge for parking?
- Parking is always free and there is plenty of it except for our busiest times in Nov, Dec and March. During these busy times it is tight, but we will help you park at no additional fee.
- Are you ADA compliant?
- If you are unable to walk for two hours, we have golf carts available for $10 extra, per person riding. Our paths are dirt, so wheel chairs are hard to push, but scooters do well. There are no seats along the tour paths.
- How do the golf carts work? Are they offered on every tour?
- On some tours (but not all), we offer seats on a golf cart for guests who have difficulty with mobility. Each cart can hold 3 guests plus the driver. The cart will follow the tour guide closely so that guests can hear the narration. Depending on different circumstances, these seats can sometimes be booked in advance, but otherwise they are first come-first serve.
- Do you offer gift certificates?
- Yes! Gift certificates are available and they make perfect gifts for holidays, birthdays or any other occasion! To purchase a gift certificate please click on the "Gift Certificates: Purchase" link in the box above.
- Do you offer private tours?
- Yes! Please see the list of all activities to get more information about our private tours.
- What does the Big Cat Rescue Release and Hold Harmless Agreement state?
- The Big Cat Rescue Release and Hold Harmless Agreement states that all buyers understand and agree to 1.) the potential dangers associated with attending Big Cat Rescue and the rules in place to prevent such dangers from occurring and 2.) the Release and Hold Harmless Agreement, which states that Big Cat Rescue cannot be held responsible for any harm, injury or damage taking place at Big Cat Rescue. Please visit https://www.votervoice.net/BCR/campaigns/30112/respond to view the agreement in its entirety.
- Non-refundable, can be rescheduled with 24 hours notice.
- Once purchased, tickets cannot be refunded. You may reschedule your tickets (subject to availability) only if you do so at least 24 hours in advance.
- Activity may be cancelled due to severe weather.
- The activity usually runs in light rain and other moderate weather conditions, but the seller may cancel the activity up to an hour before the start time in the event of severe or unsafe weather conditions. If the seller cancels the event, ticket-holders will be allowed to reschedule tickets (subject to availability) or receive credit for a future event.
- All participants must be 10 years of age or older.
- No children under 10 years old are permitted on this tour. Children 10-17 years old are welcome to attend as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Children under 10 years old are not permitted due to the nature of this tour.
- There is no smoking allowed at Big Cat Rescue.
- We do not allow smoking at Big Cat Rescue, except in the parking lot.
- All participants must agree to the Big Cat Rescue Release and Hold Harmless Agreement.
- By purchasing tickets you are agreeing to the Big Cat Rescue Release and Hold Harmless Agreement, which appears in its entirety at https://www.votervoice.net/BCR/campaigns/30112/respond. The waiver web address also appears on your e-ticket if you would like to review the waiver later.
Big Cat Rescue
Big Cat Rescue has 14 species of cats, many of whom are threatened, endangered or extinct now in the wild, including: Tigers, Lions, Leopards, Cougars, Bobcats, Lynx, Servals, Ocelots, Caracals, Jungle Cats, Leopard Cats, a Geoffroy Cat and exotic cat hybrids!
The non-profit organization is:
- Accredited by the Global Federation of Sanctuaries
- Certified by Independent Charities of America as a “Best in America Charity”
- Member of the World Society for Protection of Animals
- Rated 4 Stars by Charity Navigator (their highest rating) and has the one of the highest scores of any animal based charity