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|
|mkpbdoll||Mon, Mar 2 3:00 PM||Female||40-49||Domestic Tourist(s)||Couple on a Date|
I have been a huge fan of BCR on facebook and youtube for years. While in Tampa this past week (visiting from Atlanta, GA) I was so excited to actually visit and see the cats in all their feline glory. BCR is doing amazing things for these big cats. I have already recommended to all my facebook friends and will to anyone else I hear that is heading to Tampa. Volunteers were extremely polite, knowable and professional.
Gift shop had some great sparkly shirts! and other great finds as well!
I will definitely return!, for a feeding tour next time! Thank you for your compassion for such beautiful creatures!
|waisanhart||Mon, Mar 2 3:00 PM||Male||50-59||Domestic Tourist(s)||Family Without Children|
The people here are doing great work and it is clear that they know what they are doing. The tours are well run and informative. I'd highly recommend Big Cat Rescue. Both adults and children would enjoy it.
Excellent way to spend a morning in Tampa.
|Jscarbro||Sun, Mar 1 10:00 AM||Male||30-39||Domestic Tourist(s)||Family Without Children|
Did the day tour at 10 AM for about $35 was excellent. saw a lot of cats come up to the fence or could see them from a distance. expected many of them to be hiding but that was not the case. excellent facility and excellent tour guide
|cynocencio||Sun, Mar 1 10:00 AM||Female||40-49||Domestic Tourist(s)||Family Without Children|
This was a wonderful place. They truly care about all the large cats that have been placed in their care. It is a wonderful learning experience. If I ever go back to the Tampa area I will visit again, They have over 100 large cats there unlike a zoo the animals are not forced to be out so if they want to be seen they will be if not thats ok too. All the animals seem happy and healthy. Even animals who have passed away have a special memorial so they are never forgotten. Plus this is a non-profit so your visit benefits these beautiful cats.
Was good fun
|bryanwatkins||Sat, Feb 28 3:00 PM||Male||20-29||International Tourist(s)||Individual|
Was good to see the animals so well taken care of.
|PatAcker||Sat, Feb 28 10:00 AM||Female||60-69||Local||Unspecified|
Unbelievable dedication to keep these wonderful animals safe and alive.
Not the best impression
|rbaenziger||Sat, Feb 28 10:00 AM||Male||50-59||Domestic Tourist(s)||Couple on a Date|
We visited the Big Cat Rescue on 2/28/15 for a 2 hour day tour ($36 per person). Online registration and check-in was easy and we spent some time in the store to browse through the book and watch some video sequences. The tour provided complementary ponchos for the rain (thank you) and a radio receiver with ear phone. Although the group was not as large the tour guide used an iPad and played canned messages at each stop along the tour. This was the negative side of the tour which I did not like. Our tour guide was a trainee and did not seem too knowledgeable about the cats. She often repeated "that's a good question and I will find out" but never did. The cages and the space for the cats was nicely done and looked pretty clean. It appeared there was no interaction between keepers and cats. The cats pretty much ignored any keepers we spotted on the tour. At the end of the tour our guide asked to sign a petition started by BCR which in my opinion is not well formulated and targeted to the intent (too restrictive and generalized). Overall I have been on tours with more educational information for a smaller amount of money but I commend BCR and volunteers for their work.
|Lindam68||Fri, Feb 27 3:00 PM||Female||60-69||Domestic Tourist(s)||Family Without Children|
Very knowledgeable guides and enjoyed the tour. Great layout for the well taken care of animals.
Fun day at Big Cat Rescue
|nico14ar||Wed, Feb 25 3:00 PM||Male||60-69||Domestic Tourist(s)||Individual|
I really enjoy hearing the stories of each cat and support the cause of the Big Cat Rescue Team. I had a wonderful time viewing the cats on the day tour. The Cats are in a natural habitat with plenty of space and can provide some great pictures. However, sometimes the cats may be shy and or sleeping. The stories do however backup the cause of the Big Cat Rescue which saves these beautiful cats from a terrible existence as a pet or some cruel exhibit in a small cage or even a horrible death by a trophy hunter. The tour can be an eye opening experience to what these beautiful cats have gone through.
|Combsie86||Wed, Feb 25 3:00 PM||Female||40-49||Domestic Tourist(s)||Family Without Children|
It was very interesting to hear about the Big Cat Rescue. The guide was great. My husband even enjoyed it to my surprise.
- 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.
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