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.
|Sort by:||Date Attended||Gender||Age||Where From||Group Type|
|danyvelezr||Sun, Nov 22 3:00 PM||Male||30-39||Combination||Couple on a Date|
Great and aducational.
Wonderful people and beautiful cats
|Kari81288||Sat, Nov 21 3:00 PM||Female||20-29||Domestic Tourist(s)||Family Without Children|
I definitely recommend checking out Big Cat Rescue if you're in the Tampa area. This is not a zoo. Big Cat Rescue is a group of wonderful people passionate about helping these animals left in unfortunate circumstances, and educating the public about the cats with hope to end the problem. The cats are in an environment that is safe for them, and as close to their natural environment as possible. The volunteers and staff spend time caring for the cats, and it is evident. They encourage you to take action to help prevent having to continue taking in rescued big cats into the future. The staff makes it known that they hope to be out of business over time, meaning that the need to rescue these animals from the wrong situations is ended soon. The cats at Big Cat Rescue are lucky to be where they are to live out their lives that they may have otherwise not survived. Big Cat Rescue was an educational and enlightening experience. Support the cats, learn something new, and go check out Big Cat Rescue! Thank you Big Cat Rescue volunteers and staff for the awesome experience!
Just the best care given !
|martymaranto||Sat, Nov 21 10:00 AM||Female||50-59||Local||Individual|
The best approach and care given to these beautiful creatures that are victims of selfishness/greed of
humans. A great way to show the next generation what we need to do to preserve the wildlife and their
habitats as well!
Interesting and informative
|bonnye51||Tue, Nov 17 3:00 PM||Female||60-69||Local||Other|
Big Cat Rescue performs an invaluable service to these majestic big cats. The cats have been caged, displayed, mistreated, malnourished by others. The educational benefit by touring Big Cat Rescue is well worth the experience. You can discover ways to help by sponsoring legislation and telling people how dangerous and unhealthy it is to own big cats. They are wild animals and should be respected and treated as such. Big Cat Rescue allows the cats to live in a natural environment (as much as possible), cares for and loves the cats. It is a good place to visit and support.
|WDETWILER||Tue, Nov 17 3:00 PM||Male||70+||Local||Couple on a Date|
Love big cats (and small ones, too). Don't always get an opportunity to stand within ten feet of a Bengal Tiger. Glad to see that someone is taking care of these beautiful animals and can't believe how some were neglected and even abandoned by their previous "owners" (no one owns a cat).
Another great visit
|Sassyhats||Tue, Nov 17 3:00 PM||Female||50-59||Domestic Tourist(s)||Individual|
This is my 3rd visit to Big Cat Rescue. It is wonderful to see how well cared for the cats are. Our guides were very knowledgeable. Lots of shade for the enclosures was great for the cats and us on a hot day. I will be back on my next trip to Tampa.
Wonderful Day with the CATS !!!!
|GEORGELACK||Mon, Nov 16 3:00 PM||Male||70+||Local||Couple on a Date|
I try to get to visit the Big Cat Rescue about once a year.
The head sets telling about the cats as we visit them are very good, BUT I would like to have a mike on the guide so that we could hear what is told as we walk along the route. Each cat has it's own personality. and I think that there is a lot to tell about these animals ( how they inter-act with the staff, the amounts of food to keep them in shape, how the staff moves them from one place to as new place . You are giving these cats a good home--KEEP IT UP !!
Fantastic tour of the Rescue
|kimbap||Mon, Nov 16 3:00 PM||Female||40-49||Domestic Tourist(s)||Family Without Children|
This was my second visit to Big Cat Rescue and I enjoyed it even more than the first time! I saw all of the cats whereas the first visit it was very hot and most of the cats were sleeping and out of view.
I am a donor to the Rescue and I receive regular emails and 'The Big Cat Times Magazine' and I appreciate being kept up to date on the cats, the enhancements made at the Rescue as well as new cats rescued.
Thank you for all you do for the big,beautiful creatures Big Cat Rescue!! :)
Enjoyable and informative!
|JoAnnF||Mon, Nov 16 3:00 PM||Female||60-69||Domestic Tourist(s)||Family Without Children|
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and we were pleased to see the sanctuary was clean and the animals cared for in a good environment!
|Peterzimnis||Mon, Nov 16 3:00 PM||Male||40-49||Domestic Tourist(s)||Family With Children|
Highly recommended for lovers of the big cats
- 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.
- 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