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Big Cat Rescue, Tampa

#2 of 44 in Outdoors in Tampa
A nonprofit sanctuary for rescued wildcats, Big Cat Rescue is home to more than 100 big cats, such as tigers, bobcats, and a liger. The shelter has rescued many abused or abandoned wildcats, including Skip the bobcat, which came in with a broken pelvis. Skip's surgery and recovery was made possible through donations from people who saw his story on Facebook and other social media sites. Take a day tour, night tour, or even a feeding tour of the rescue center. Just be sure to book online or call the center in advance if you would like to visit. Work out when and for how long to visit Big Cat Rescue and other Tampa attractions using our handy Tampa trip itinerary planning site .
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Big Cat Rescue Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
1,711 reviews
  • These people don't just rescue big cats from horrible situations, they walk the walk as well. They are actively involved in trying to get legislation passed(federal) that would stop breeding, importin...  more »
  • A pleasant surprise to find such healthy looking animals, and an environment that focuses on maintaining their well being. Considering the circumstances from which they were rescued, they now enjoy a ...  more »
  • The multigenerational Rosaire Family continues to take in Big Cats and educate the public. 4 gorgeous cervils enjoy high perches in the newest display, thanks to donor support. Emus, Tigers and rare "...  more »
  • We enjoyed our tour a lot! Some cats were sleepy or nowhere to be seen, but a surprising amount of cats were active and even interacting with guests. Our tour was pretty full, but we went at a pretty leisurely pace and had enough time to see the cats but not have to stand around too much. It seems like most of the negative reviews about this place are people who disagree with the politics or people who didn't book ahead of time/tried to bring kids on an adult tour. Especially if you are a cat or wildlife lover, the tour is worth while. The rescue is also encouraging all guests to contact their local representatives to support legislature protecting wild cats from abusive ownership, which is great.
  • If you're active or retired military or law enforcement and expect to get the 10% discount listed on the ticket page, you won't, unless you book the least expensive tour. There is no mention of this limitation anywhere I saw, and the person answering our query on the phone didn't know about it either. The only person that seemed to know about this was the manager. If you want to thank us for our service with a discount, either do so unconditionally, or not at all. At the very least, advertise the limitation. I chalked it up as a donation; it made the deception easier to deal with. On the positive side, it was an amazing experience, and when you put the cost in perspective with the immense and expensive task of feeding and caring for these animals, I felt my "donation" was going to a worthy cause. We took the keepers tour, and what a great tour that was! Maureen was friendly and unhurried, and really went out of her way to show us as many of the cats as possible, sharing their stories with us and answering all of our questions. Seeing the cats peaceful and well cared for in a safe environment and getting to be so close to them was a truly unforgettable experience. I would highly recommend a visit, and the keepers tour in particular.
  • Lived in Tampa, St Pete for 9 years and never visited this place. I've always heard stories of friends going and having an amazing time. Heard the stories how the visits changed their view the treatment of animals in zoos and circuses. It did not disappoint. Very informative and personal tours...yes even the $37 el-cheapo ticket is well worth it. The love, pride and affection is evident on each and every volunteer and paid associate. I do have a few recommendations. I would probably take the early tour over the afternoon tour. I would also pay the extra for the privilege of feeding the cats. Did I forget to mention you will be just feet away from the 500 pound massive animals? The experience is above and beyond my ability to accurately describe its impact. Check this place out while it's still a cool intimate experience.
  • It was totally awesome. I loved the entire visit. The Big cats are wonderful and or guides were perfect. I will recommend this beautiful place to everyone. Thank you so much. Also it was another adventure for my daughter and I to do.
  • My husband and I did the regular day tour for his birthday. I loved the message/mission of the Big Cat Sanctuary. They are a real sanctuary that acts as a retirement home for abused big cats. Some of the cats were previously kept as pets from the exotic pet trade, some were bred for hopes of domestication, some were from circuses, some were from cub-petting tourist facilities, etc. They educate the guests on the inhumane treatment of big cats in all these situations and more. They don't believe in a life in captivity (
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