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:

Description

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 Fridays, 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.)
135 Reviews Rating: 4.8 4.8 out of 5.0
Verified Customer Reviews
Always from real, paying customers
# of Reviews Positive
Points
Negative
Points
= Overall
Rating
% Positive Average
Rating
Last 3 months 21 56 1 = 55 95% 4.8
Last 6 months 39 106 1 = 105 97% 4.8
Last 12 months 71 184 1 = 183 99% 4.8
All 135 347 3 = 344 98% 4.7
135 Reviews
Displaying 1 - 10
Sort by: Date Attended Gender Age Where From Group Type
Rating: 5
Brilliant day
Sun, Aug 30  10:00 AM Female 40-49 International Tourist(s) Family With Children
 
Brilliant day, Jo the keeper who took us round for the keeper tour was great and very informative.

We will be backing we are I the Tampa area I the future
Rating: 5
Great keeper tour at BCR!
Sun, Aug 23  10:00 AM Female 60-69 Local Individual
 
Rebecca, a senior volunteer keeper, did an excellent tour. It was exciting to see the big cats receive their enrichment and their operant conditioning. The small number of people on this tour allowed each of us to have their questions answered. I've done the day tour already, and now looking forward to the feeding tours and the night tours.

Making enrichments for the cats was fun---now I know how to make some enrichments for my pocket cougars (domestic kitties) at home.

I would strongly encourage everyone who loves animals to come see these big cats, hear their stories, and think about whether pay-to-pet exhibits, backyard tigers, etc. should be legal in this country.
 
Rating: 5
Amazing experience
Sat, Aug 22  10:00 AM Female 50-59 Domestic Tourist(s) Family Without Children
 
I highly recommend this tour to learn about and see these beautiful cats. Our tour guide Barb was fantastic, her love for the cats was evident. This tour is well worth the extra money and since the proceeds go to the cats it is a win win!!! I loved it.
Rating: 5
Great way to spend the morning
Sat, Aug 22  10:00 AM Female 50-59 Local Other
 
The keeper tour was well worth the money. A very knowledgable guide made the experience a day to remember.
Rating: 5
Keeper Tour Rocks
Sat, Aug 15  10:00 AM Male 70+ Local Couple on a Date
 
I am so glad we opted for the Keeper tour. There is nothing better than a small group lead by a knowledgeable guide to make the experience incredibly valuable, interesting and fun. Our keeper was a wealth of information and shared it willingly. The tour was a relaxed, easy stroll through the rescue with plenty of time to see all the animal up close. I can't imagine a better way to experience this wonderful place.

My only disappointment was that there are really no opportunities to take high quality pictures (I'm a professional photographer). With the enclosure fencing in the way it doesn't make for good pictures. I don't know of any way around that. The animals have to be enclosed and the fencing is just a fact of life. If you are a photo perfectionist don't expect good picture taking opportunities.
Rating: 5
Keeper tour review
Sat, Aug 8  10:00 AM Female 20-29 Domestic Tourist(s) Family Without Children
 
They have you get there a half an hour early because they said they start promptly at time stated. They, however, were a half an hour late, so we had to wait in the gift shop for over an hour. After that, the tour was great! They encourage cats to come to the front of the enclosures with treats. Plenty of opportunity to take great pictures!!! The tour guides were extremely friendly and knowledgable! They went out of their way to make sure we had a great experience! Would definitely recommend this tour!
Rating: 5
You did not leave me much room to do this, the tou
Sun, Jul 26  10:00 AM Female 40-49 Domestic Tourist(s) Group of Friends
 
I think that the owner had a very good reason for doing this however some of the employees did not seem interactive. There were two and cannot remember names, but they seemed to really care about the animals, I think they were from England. My biggest concern is for the animals and feel sad seeing them in a cage. I was more concerened about the black leopards, one came down and fell off of hie steps. As a tour it was great, but I left wondering how the animals are happy with no touch when somre were used to that attention. I will gladly give money to your project and want to know more about wild animals as well. To see someone kill that known lion in the wild made my stomach turn. You ask for my opinon, please let me know what I can do to make things that that NOT happen.
Rating: 5
Clueless
Sun, Jul 26  10:00 AM Female 50-59 Unspecified Unspecified
 
I noticed that most attendees were clueless of Big Cat's mission and histories of the cats. The keepers were extremely patient and explicit in their answers and explanations. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour but I'm a huge fan already. My only suggestion is for gift shop to sell camera batteries. (Mine died)
Rating: 2
Keeper Tour NOT worth the extra money
Sun, Jul 26  10:00 AM Female 40-49 Local Couple on a Date
 
I've been on the BCR's basic tour a few times. This Keeper Tour is not much different. For $125.00, you spend maybe 10 minutes making "treats" (which few of the cats even liked) and touring the same cats that you would see on the basic tour. A wagon follows behind with the treats (very loud and you can NOT hear the tour guide but it does get the cats' attention). On the unfortunate downside, we could not hear the tour guide, the place was not very well maintained (branches all over the cages and grass overgrown), and the cats were frustrated. I am a big supporter of BCR, but this was by far the least informative, least enjoyable, and it seemed to be struggling with staff/volunteer apathy and direction. Hopefully, this was just a "bad day" and the tour is better than it was today.
Rating: 5
Big cats rescue made me purrrrr!
Sat, Jul 18  10:00 AM Unspecified 40-49 International Tourist(s) Couple on a Date
 
I recommend this tour as you are sure to see the big cats, and many of them. Oh what a joy it was to see " live" ( not on my computer screen) the big cats. The volunteers do a fantastic job. They are dedicated people. And I can testified that Big Cats rescue is a wonderful organization. A well worth cause. Thank you sooo much. Until next time! PS: thanks to Zerve too who made this reservation from Canada super easy!
 
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Displaying 1 - 10 of 135
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?
No.
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.

Policies

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 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 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.
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