The Keeper Tour

Big Cat Rescue

Zerve Seller: BigCatRescue
Activity #4200
  • Take a tour of Big Cat Rescue & see the home of more than 100 panthers, lions & other cats that have been saved from abandonment!

  • Dinner at Big Cat Rescue is a bone crunching wild time you will never forget! Watch big cat keepers feed tigers, leopards & more!

  • A walking tour after dark... come experience the big cats at night! An experience to remember - an adrenaline rush to turn the tables!

  • Complete guided tour where children of ALL AGES can get up-close and learn about exotic cats and other animals!

Available Dates & Times Price Duration
All times listed are Eastern time zone
Gift Certificates:


Big Cat Rescue of Tampa, FL is excited to tell you about an opportunity that is sure to feed your beastly appetite for adventure. Our Big Cat Keeper Tour is the most exclusive behind the scenes experience you can find in the animal world that is respectful to the animals and safe for the guests. If you are an animal lover and want to see the inner workings of a real animal sanctuary, then this 2-hour experience is what you have been searching for.

No where else can you get this close, interact with such a wide variety of wild cats, and support a great cause at the same time.
The Keeper Tour includes:
  • Enrichment: You'll make toys and treats for the cats to stimulate an animals’ activity level and watch as keeper hands out what you’ve made. Observe the animals’ reactions as they investigate their enrichment that you helped create for them.
  • Operant conditioning: You'll witness a training session between the cats & keepers. During this activity you will accompany our keepers who will teach critical behaviors to one of our feline residents, such as go into lock out, stand up so we can observe the paws and underside, and much more!
  • History: You'll learn the history behind our furry friends and how they came to call Big Cat Rescue home. In addition, you'll also hear the story of why Big Cat Rescue was founded, as you take a guided mini tour of the 55 acre sanctuary.
On your exploration you will see many of our approximately 100 exotic cats, including more than a dozen different species and sub species of exotic cats! Learn about where these great cats come from in the wild and what you can do to help their plight. You will join an exclusive group of adventure seekers and a few of our highly trained staff for an orientation that will prepare you for an afternoon of Behind the Scenes excitement!
Each Behind the Big Cat Scenes Adventure is unique and different, so you never know fully what to expect, besides a roaring good time!

Keeper Tours are available on Saturdays and Sundays ONLY at 10 AM.  Participants in the Big Cat Keeper Tours  must be 10 years of age or older.

Meeting Location

Big Cat Rescue in Citrus Park (NW Tampa, FL) (Exact meeting location details will be provided immediately upon purchase of tickets.)
107 Reviews Rating: 4.8 4.8 out of 5.0
Verified Customer Reviews
Always from real, paying customers
# of Reviews Positive
= Overall
% Positive Average
Last 3 months 12 32 0 = 32 100% 4.8
Last 6 months 30 74 0 = 74 100% 4.7
Last 12 months 54 139 0 = 139 100% 4.8
All 107 272 2 = 270 98% 4.7
107 Reviews
Displaying 1 - 10
Sort by: Date Attended Gender Age Where From Group Type
Rating: 5
Great experience
Sat, May 9  10:00 AM Male 40-49 Domestic Tourist(s) Individual
You can't get this close to these cats without getting eaten. You get to make treats for them and see the keepers present the treats to the cats without touching them. They are very informative about each cat and where they came from.
Rating: 5
Excellent experience
Sat, May 9  10:00 AM Male 70+ Local Family Without Children
We found the people conducting the Keeper's Tour to be well trained and knowledgeable. The facilities are very well kept and it is obvious that the cats get excellent care. We will be back for another tour soon and plan on making a donation.
Rating: 5
great learning experience and opportunity!
Sun, May 3  10:00 AM Female 30-39 Unspecified Unspecified
Seeing the cats up close was fantastic. And so much to learn about how this group cares for these cats and rescues them from some tough situations. The staff has a great respect and love for the animals and make the best situation out of these cats lives who should have never been in cages to start with.
Rating: 5
Sat, May 2  10:00 AM Female 50-59 Domestic Tourist(s) Couple on a Date
I love the big cats and LOVED the tour and the knowledge of our tour guide!! I reccommend this tour to anyone that loves the big cats or are concerned with the plight of big cat ownership by regular people or the extinction of tigers and lions!!
Rating: 4
Love the big cats
Sun, Apr 12  10:00 AM Male 30-39 Domestic Tourist(s) Couple on a Date
Its awesome seeing the big cats up close and personal. I did not know that some big cats meowed like my little cats at home.. and to hear them actually do it.. sooo cute!

Keeper tour you get to make things for the animals to play with..and they love the toys!
Rating: 5
Keeper Tour at Big Cat Rescue
Sun, Apr 12  10:00 AM Female 40-49 Combination Group of Friends
The Keeper Tour is a 2 hour experience. You start by making enrichment items for the cats, which are used to give them something to stimulate them and make their lives more interesting. Then you go with a tour guide and one of the keepers to meet a good number and variety of big cats (not every cat at the rescue, not all of them tolerate humans well). Since you're with the person bringing the food and fun, the cats tend to come and say hi, which gives you a great chance to see them up close and get great pictures. The keeper does some simple training with them (teaching and reinforcing behaviors that are useful for checking their health, etc., these cat aren't being trained to do tricks) while the tour guide tells you about the specific cat and talks about its species. You learn how those cats ended up at the rescue and how to not contribute to a culture that causes so many big cats to end up having to live in jail for the rest of their lives. All in all it was an educational, and fun experience that focused on the cats and their personalities and getting to experience them in an intimate way without heavily stressing the cats or endangering them and ourselves, and it wasn't overly preachy either. I highly recommend it. My friend had done the regular tour before and said that she'd prefer to only do the Keeper Tour from now on!
Rating: 5
Best tour I've had at Big Cat Rescue
Sun, Apr 12  10:00 AM Female Unspecified Local Group of Friends
I have visited Big Cat Rescue on many occasions, but this was the first time I had taken the Keeper Tour. While more expensive ($120 vs. $36 for the standard Day Tour), the Keeper Tour takes an extra hour and offers more up-close views of the cats. The Keeper Tour starts with having guests create enrichment toys using paper, spices and perfumes, and then accompanying a keeper and an intern/guide as they give these toys to the cats and perform some "operant training" using meat treats. The sound of the treat cart brings the cats running for up-close views and some fantastic photo opportunities. The Keeper Tour is best suited to those interested in animal care and behavior, since the keepers describe in-depth what it's like to run a big cat sanctuary. As a "cat geek," I loved this, and I was touched to realize how many of these cats are elderly and in need of special care. I would take this tour again in a heartbeat.
Rating: 5
Fantastic experience highly recommended
Sat, Apr 11  10:00 AM Female 40-49 International Tourist(s) Family With Children
On our second visit to Florida from the UK we wanted to avoid the "Disney Experience" and see more of the surrounding area and visit smaller attractions. We are so glad that we did, this place is amazing. We did the Keeper Tour which may seem pricey but is definately worth the outlay. We had a two hour guided tour during which we got to meet lots of the resident cats, see the keepers intecating with them and get involved inmaking enrichment toys which were much enjoyed by the cats. As someone from outside of the US I was staggered by how permissive the laws regarding the keeping of big cats are and would urge any US residents to support the team in their efforts to promote the introduction of more legislation to protect these beautiful animals.

All in all a great day and definately worth the drive from Orlando.
Rating: 5
Sat, Mar 28  10:00 AM Female 40-49 Domestic Tourist(s) Couple on a Date
We had a great time on the Keeper Tour! I liked that the enrichment we made was fast and simple so we got to spend more time seeing the cats.

We were lucky enough that the weather was cool, so many of the animals were pretty active.

Got to see close up and first hand what it's like to be charged at by a not-too-happy tiger - SCARY!!

I would highly recommend this tour!
Rating: 5
experience of a lifetime: keeper's tour
Sun, Mar 15  10:00 AM Female Unspecified Domestic Tourist(s) Other
Up close and personal with cats so beautiful and powerful you will be awed. Tigers, cougars, lynx, caracals, bobcats . . . You here sounds from them you don't expect, see them playing, and some like posing for photos. Make sure your phone or camera is fully charged!
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Displaying 1 - 10 of 107
Ratings and Reviews for:
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 dangerous nature of this 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.
Do you sell food or drinks at the sanctuary? Is there a place to have lunch before the tour?
Yes, we offer drinks and snacks on site, but you are welcome to bring your own, for your consumption only. You will not be allowed to provide the cats food, treats or toys.
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, and you could use the restrooms there before the tour.
What if it rains?
The Keeper Tour 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 have a gift shop?
Yes we do! The Trading Post Gift Shop is right here at our location.
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 to view the agreement in its entirety.


Refund/Rescheduling Policy

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.

Weather Policy

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.

Other Policies

All participants must be 10 years of age or older.
Children under 10 years old are not permitted due to the dangerous nature of this tour. Children 10-17 years old are welcome to attend as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
No Smoking
No Smoking is allowed 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 The waiver web address also appears on your e-ticket if you would like to review the waiver later.
If you purchased a donation Extra, please take note of the following:
Big Cat Rescue is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, FEID 59-3330495. Note that we do not utilize professional solicitors, so 100% of your donation goes to Big Cat Rescue and supporting the cats and stopping the abuse. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION FOR BIG CAT RESCUE, A FL-BASED NONPROFIT CORPORATION (REGISTRATION NO. CH 11409), MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 1-800-435-7352 WITHIN THE STATE OR BY VISITING REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.

Big Cat Rescue

Big Cat Rescue is the largest accredited sanctuary in the world dedicated entirely to abused and abandoned big cats. We are home to about 100 lions, tigers, bobcats, cougars and other species most of whom have been abandoned, abused, orphaned, saved from being turned into fur coats, or retired from performing acts. Our dual mission is to provide the best home we can for the cats in our care and educate the public about the plight of these majestic animals, both in captivity and in the wild, to end abuse and avoid extinction.

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, 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
The sanctuary is sithuated on 70 acres in the Citrus Park area of north Tampa.
Please call Zerve at
1 (800) 979-3370
to get more information or
book this activity now
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