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 3 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 noon Tour on Saturdays or Sundays.
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Excellent learning experience
|Leapole||Sat, Mar 28 3:00 PM||Female||50-59||Local||Other|
There was so much to learn about the cats as well as their experience prior to being rescued. The tour guides were friendly and knowledgeable. Overall it was well worth every penny. Looking forward to a visit back soon
|sharlenemay||Fri, Mar 27 3:00 PM||Female||60-69||Local||Other|
So happy to see that BCR is there for so many abandoned and abused cats. Keep up the good work. And no, I will never attend a circus where there are performing animals again.
|CFThomas||Wed, Mar 25 3:00 PM||Female||50-59||International Tourist(s)||Couple on a Date|
We got to see the care they take to give these rescued animals and how they strive to create as nice an environment as possible for them. Learned lots about what leads to the need for rescues, and I will certainly be writing to my government to put in legislation to stop the private ownership of big cats. Worth the time and cost.
Catherine and Chris
Better on previous visit
|MetaPalmer||Wed, Mar 25 3:00 PM||Female||60-69||Domestic Tourist(s)||Group of Friends|
This is the second time we visited the Big Cat Rescue. Our first visit was approx..2 yrs. ago. We saw many more cats on our previous visit. Unfortunately, it was a hot day for our visit but the tour is now earlier by an hour. Just like our domestic cats, they nap in the middle of the afternoon. On our initial visit, the tour was immediately before feeding time. I would recommend you consider making the tour later in the afternoon. The tapes about the cats compared to the tour guides describing the history of the cat was an improved change. It was still a great tour but a bit disappointing because of the inactivity of the cats.
Way to quick, under on hour...
|bigriodog||Tue, Mar 24 3:00 PM||Male||60-69||Unspecified||Unspecified|
The stories were great, but the tour was way too quick and under one hour not including the pre game where they tell you what to do. Plenty of cats we never saw. Liked it but was dissapointed.
Always an Inspiration & a joy to see the big cats
|Noeletta||Tue, Mar 24 10:00 AM||Female||70+||Local||Other|
My fourth visit in several years. Brought a friend with me who is a cat lover as well...she had never been there as yet.
The weather was beautiful, our guides were very well informed, enthusiastic, obviously dedicated and protective of the cats. They were happy to answer questions. So sad to visit the memorial grounds where the big cats who died of some malady or mostly from old age were laid to rest....but so much better than if they died through abuse or starvation. So very grateful for this rescue. I will visit again as often as I can.
Emotional stories of these cats
|jpbirdman||Tue, Mar 24 10:00 AM||Female||60-69||Local||Family With Children|
Will return hoping to see some of the other cats. The cats we saw looked well taken care of and even though it is captivity at least they are no longer being abused or not properly being taken care of. .
Great way to spend a morning in Tampa
|robindel||Tue, Mar 24 10:00 AM||Female||70+||Combination||Other|
i have lived in Tampa for years and this is the first time I have been to Big Cat Rescue. It won't be the last. It is a wonderful place to take visitors, whether they are young or old. The work that this place does should be shared far and wide.
|knaples||Mon, Mar 23 3:00 PM||Female||60-69||Local||Family Without Children|
Our visit was entertaining and very educational. The animals are well cared for and seem very content. The staff was eager to answer our questions and know the cats well. I will return with other visitors.
Great tour - very informative!
|rufrax||Mon, Mar 23 10:00 AM||Female||60-69||Domestic Tourist(s)||Family Without Children|
Our tour guide was wonderful and very knowledgeable. Her passion for the animals and the place came through and that's a wonderful thing to see. Nice place to visit and just enough animals to actually see knowing that many of them are not people-friendly. Very nice that they respect the animal's needs as their top priority.
- 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 a dozen 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, 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