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 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.)
95 Reviews Rating: 4.7 4.7 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 17 37 0 = 37 100% 4.5
Last 6 months 31 75 0 = 75 100% 4.7
Last 12 months 49 123 1 = 122 98% 4.7
All 95 238 2 = 236 98% 4.7
95 Reviews
Displaying 1 - 10
Sort by: Date Attended Gender Age Where From Group Type
Rating: 4
Unique experience
Sun, Mar 1  10:00 AM Unspecified 40-49 Unspecified Unspecified
 
Interesting walking tour of this refuge for former pets and sideshow attractions.
 
Rating: 5
Worth the trip
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.
Rating: 5
Big Cat Rescue
Sat, Jan 24  10:00 AM Female 50-59 Domestic Tourist(s) Other
 
Big Cat Rescue was an incredible experience. The knowledge the keeper and guide possessed about each animal and the specialized care given to each cat is marvelous. The money paid for the Keeper Tour goes to support the continued quality of care received by each animal in this sanctuary.
Rating: 5
Worth the effort!
Sat, Jan 24  10:00 AM Female 50-59 International Tourist(s) Family With Children
 
My daughter loves cats and big cats and has wanted to visit for several years. We added a visit to Big Cat Rescue to our days in Orlando (all the eay from Australia) and it was really wonderful. Our guide and other volunteers were very knowledgable and such a great cause.
Rating: 5
keeper tour 101
Sun, Jan 18  10:00 AM Male 50-59 Domestic Tourist(s) Couple on a Date
 
The most informative tour I have been through on any type of animals. The keepers are very knowledgeable and excited about their facility and animals. I would recommend any of the tours to anybody.
Rating: 5
Awesome experience.
Sat, Jan 17  10:00 AM Female 50-59 Domestic Tourist(s) Family Without Children
 
We learned so much, and are grateful there's a facility like this to care for these magnificent animals.

This won't be our last visit, and I am encouraging friends to visit as well.
Rating: 5
Not to be missed
Sat, Jan 17  10:00 AM Female 60-69 International Tourist(s) Family Without Children
 
This is our third visit to Big Cat Rescue - we've had a public tour, a private tour & now a Keepers Tour - all great - if you like animals (and especially Cats of all sizes) this is a must-see on a visit to Florida - and well worth a few hours drive if necessary. Just remember, it's not a zoo so there is no touching, nor are the animals made to perform or even present themselves to you - but the ones that you see & their stories are unforgettable.
Rating: 4
Great work
Sat, Jan 3  10:00 AM Female 50-59 Combination Individual
 
I'd just like to stress how much I enjoyed this tour!!

I wish it were longer and that we'd seen more cats but I get that not all of them want to see us.

Their videos on youtube are very educational and humorous and I would recommend it to anyone who happens to be in the area.
Rating: 4
great experience
Sat, Jan 3  10:00 AM Female 50-59 Local Couple on a Date
 
It was a great experience and educational as well as providing an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the big cats. It ran a bit long due to unforeseen circumstances, otherwise it was awesome. I have already recommended it to several of my friends.
Rating: 3
With grandchildren recent college graduates
Sat, Jan 3  10:00 AM Male 70+ Local Family With Children
 
Having visited the facility on numerous occasions, we thought this would be special. The cats were a bit lethargic (but that is perhaps the nature of these animals) and our recollection is that we saw fewer than we had seen on earlier Adult Tours. The day we visited there was a "situation" which kept us waiting outside the entrance, Although we did not expect to receive a "blow by blow" account of what was causing the delay, the volunteers waiting with us should have been informed in order to communicate with the waiting guests. Still, the facility provides a valuable service and we will assuredly include future visits in our plans.
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Displaying 1 - 10 of 95
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.

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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