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.
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.
|Sort by:||Date Attended||Gender||Age||Where From||Group Type|
Love the big cats
|Svenule||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!
Keeper Tour at Big Cat Rescue
|deeleb||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!
Best tour I've had at Big Cat Rescue
|Diinzumo||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.
Fantastic experience highly recommended
|daisybaby||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.
REALLY REALLY COOL
|dharko||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!
experience of a lifetime: keeper's tour
|miseijas||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!
|LodiGirl||Sat, Mar 14 10:00 AM||Female||60-69||Domestic Tourist(s)||Individual|
The staff conducting the tour was extremely knowledgeable and provided us with a wealth of information regarding the cats, their habitats, their habits, their needs and their care. I have been a long-time admirer of the work of BCR, and it was very rewarding to have the opportunity to visit the facility and see how well cared for the cats are. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me!
|scottdiaz||Sun, Mar 1 10:00 AM||Unspecified||40-49||Unspecified||Unspecified|
Interesting walking tour of this refuge for former pets and sideshow attractions.
Worth the trip
|Barbscalla||Sun, Feb 15 10:00 AM||Female||50-59||Domestic Tourist(s)||Couple on a Date|
A visit toBig Cat Rescue was recommended to me by a coworker and I am so glad that I took the time to enjoy being around these beautiful animals. I appreciate all the work that the people at Big Cat Rescue are doing. I especially enjoyed making the toys for them. The volunteers are very knowledgeable and it is obvious that they love the cats and taking care of them. This is a "must see" place to visit.
Keeper Tour is a Tour Keeper!
|Reddcatt17||Sat, Feb 14 10:00 AM||Female||40-49||Domestic Tourist(s)||Couple on a Date|
After being unable to book a private photo tour, we decided to go ahead and try the Keeper Tour-
I have to say that we were NOT disappointed! It truly was an amazing tour-
Afton was our tour guide and it was obvious that she really loves what she does.
It's amazing to see up close, what you your organization does for these beautiful creatures. You've given them a life past their sometimes horrible beginnings-
Keep on keeping on- do what you do!
We will come back and we will continue to support your efforts-
- 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 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.
- 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 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.
- 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 www.800helpfla.com. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.
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