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|
|plblanton||Fri, Jun 26 10:00 AM||Female||40-49||Domestic Tourist(s)||Unspecified|
Tour guides were very friendly and knew a lot about the cats. They obviously care deeply for the animals.We fixed enrichment treats for the cats and watched them enjoy. It was a hoot watching these big cats go nuts over catnip! Each enclosure is spacious and the cats don't have to do anything they don't want to do. There are some cats who like humans to visit, especially Kalli who showed off at little for us! Take this tour- you will not be disappointed.
a great way to spend the day with beautiful cats
|dawgsitter||Sun, Jun 14 10:00 AM||Female||Unspecified||Local||Group of Friends|
a very worthwhile adventure to prepare treats and watch the keeper give them to the tigers, lion, and cougars. We enjoyed the experience and were happy that our admission money is used for helping pay for feeding and housing all the rescued big cats and hope everyone goes to visit this non profit attraction in Tampa
Extraordinary access to the big cats
|STEPHEN21||Sat, Jun 13 10:00 AM||Male||50-59||Domestic Tourist(s)||Family With Children|
We visited as a family group of four (two kids aged 15 and 10). It was a remarkably rewarding opportunity on so many levels. Not just to see the big cats but to hear first hand about specific animals (i.e., from hearing their back story through to their personality traits, etc). The keeper tour guides on out tour were both long-term volunteers at Big Cats Rescue (9+ years), very knowledgeable and approachable ... and importantly knew their animals and the animals knew them; all of this enhanced the visit and made it more personal. We saw a huge number of cats (lost track). Kids loved it !
Very hot humid morning for our visit so recommend carrying water - which we did (though there were frequent water stations). Excellent gift shop. Highly recommend a visit to anyone in the Tampa area.
|Marjbob||Sun, Jun 7 10:00 AM||Female||70+||Domestic Tourist(s)||Family With Children|
This was a great experience for us, especially my 13 year old grandson, who has been a fan and sponser for several years. The only negative that I could find would be the price. At $125.00, i think it is rather expensive.
|Wyleenz||Sat, Jun 6 10:00 AM||Male||30-39||Local||Couple on a Date|
The tour guides have passion and it shows loved the tour and the cats
Wonderful learning experience
|friedrice38||Sun, May 24 10:00 AM||Male||40-49||Domestic Tourist(s)||Family With Children|
Had a great time on the Keeper's Tour. Learned so much about the cats and got to see their personalities from a passionate tour guide. These cats are truly well-cared for and are so much better off than in their previous environments. I highly recommend this tour for big cat lovers and for kids.
An interesting and informative tour.
|TwoCatsPD||Sun, May 24 10:00 AM||Female||50-59||Domestic Tourist(s)||Family Without Children|
This was our second visit to Big Cat Rescue. Our "Keeper Tour" consisted of only 6 people which was a perfect size. Before we started the actual tour, we were able to create toys (called "enrichments," with cardboard tubes, long pieces of palm fronds, spices and perfumes) for the cats. Our guide was Senior Keeper Jen, who was very knowledgeable about every big cat we visited on our tour (I lost count, but it was well over a dozen). This tour was a bit over 2 hours long, so be ready to walk. There are water stations along the way, but the day we visited, it was not too hot & there was a nice breeze. We observed other keepers going about their chores as were were touring, as well as overhearing keeper conversations via walkie-talkie. At the end of the tour, you can browse a well stocked gift shop and/or sign petitions for various causes for the well-being of the big cats. This is a well-kept and efficiently-run facility. The tour cost is well worth the experience. We will visit again!
never been so close
|Hockeho||Sun, May 24 10:00 AM||Female||50-59||Domestic Tourist(s)||Other|
How amazing, to be so close to these magnificent animals. This Rescue is amazing and takes such god care of these cats. This tour was fantastic and you get to see so many of the rescued big cats. What a privilege to know the money you are spending is going to help these beautiful animals.
No other experience like it
|MissLepard||Sat, May 23 10:00 AM||Female||30-39||Domestic Tourist(s)||Couple on a Date|
Amazing opportunity to get 3 feet away from a variety of exotic cats that you may not ever have another chance to see. The cats are wildly entertaining, and the tour guides are incredibly knowledgeable. Don't miss out on this experience!
Just Do It
|gregheaven||Sat, May 23 10:00 AM||Unspecified||30-39||Domestic Tourist(s)||Unspecified|
If you want to see the cats up close, and you want to see them active, spend the money. It was worth every penny and the money goes to the sanctuary. I dont usually write reviews, so...
I did the first Keeper Tour, so that is the only one I can recommend.
- 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