Big Cat Rescue provides an awesome service for big cats that, sadly, is more necessary now than ever. Big cats deserve to live in the wild, but there are so many in the hands of private citizens that are abused and neglected. BCR helps these animals and gives them a home for the rest of their lives, complete with plenty of food, enrichment, vet care, and love. BCR also plays an important role in advocacy for big cats, trying to help them in all areas. The world would be a much worse place without the staff and volunteers at Big Cat Rescue. I visited them in November 2014, and I wish I lived closer so I could visit over and over. To see these amazing animals is a rare treat, and to see them healthy and happy after what many of them have been through is nothing short of a miracle.
I can’t say enough about our experience at the Big Cat Sanctuary. My boyfriend suggested we finally visit after years of talking about it, and it without a doubt worth the wait. We did both the Feeding Tour and the Keeper Tour.
The Feeding Tour was a small group—just us two and one other person! Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable about all the cats and answered every question we had. It was awesome to hear about the cats’ diets and how each animal is looked after to its own individual needs. We got to see the lynx, bobcats, servals, leopards, and two of the tigers eat. We were able to stop and look at some of the other cats as well along the way.—including the foster kittens!
The Keeper Tour was beyond my wildest expectations. Keeper Des and Keeper Jen were wonderful. We were able to create enrichment toys for the cats—some of whom were interested and some of whom were not. It was nice to see the keepers let the cats be themselves and didn’t force the cats to engage with anything they didn’t want to. They did give the cats meat treats along the way to bring them around closer for us to see and photograph as we heard their stories. We were able to see a lot more of the cats on this tour and spend more time with each one. At the beginning, Des even told us if there was a particular animal we wanted to see, he would do his best to make it happen. It was obvious that all of the keepers love what they do, and the love the cats. I enjoyed hearing the anecdotes that each worker had about particular cats. Just like people, big cats have their own personalities!
I also have to say a huge thank you to Keeper Honey. Little did I know, my boyfriend had planned to propose at the end of the Keeper Tour! My now fiancé (!!!) was able to propose with Seth tiger’s help thanks to her. She even made a wonderful sign for the occasion. We are both so grateful for all of the Big Cat Rescue staff for everything they did to make a special day even more special for both of us—but we are especially and forever thankful for Keeper Honey, Des, and Jen for helping make everything happen. We couldn’t have asked for a better day at BCR!
Seeing Big cat rescue was a dream come true, these cats are so well cared for and obviously loved. Every bit of money earned goes directly back to the cats and their care with things like enrichment, medical care, enclosure up keep and feeding them. This sanctuary is a true sanctuary and properly accredited and boy are they dedicated to these beautiful animals - big and small. I had the joy of being lead by Barb on a private tour and a general tour and she was fantastic and so knowledgeable - she took me to all the cats i wanted to see and told me about them in great detail - Barb was truly lovely to meet and I hope to see her again. As you walk around you can see the volunteers working diligently. Depending on what day and time you go you will see different cats so I would recommend booking multiple tours. I was able to see everyone I asked to but unable to see Hoover and TJ and Zeus as it was a very hot day and the cats needed their tiem away from the sun. Please don't be disappointed if you don't see your favorite cat! If anything that is a reason to keep coming back and to get acquainted with them. FYI private tour means you get to see what cats you specifically ask for and spend as much time with them as you like - I chose to spend most my time with Sabre the sweet black leopard.
We did three of the tours between Friday night and Saturday. Learning the stories of how each big cat came to be a resident at Big Cat Rescue will make you want to help any way you can.
And there are so many ways to help... Paper towel and TP cardboard rolls, yogurt cups, solo cups are some every day items you can forward to BCR! Making purchases in the on-line store, taking a tour are some other ways! Of course there is always monetary donations as well.
Go to BCR in person or visit their website and learn how you can help!
My husband and I had the honor of visiting Big Cat Rescue in Tampa Florida for a walking tour. We want to thank you for this wonderful opportunity to see how you have gone to such extremes to rescue and then to provide the big cats with an environment that will let them live out their lives in a safe place with respect from all of the kind volunteers that take care of them. The education that you provide to the public is exceptional, from the videos, to the volunteers that provide educational talks, and the taped recording about each individual cat and their stories during the walk. The safety and beauty of the habitat that you have provided is beyond awesome and prompted me to write my congressmen to pass the bill to stop the private ownership, as well as, donating to the cause. Thank you so much for the education and experience!
My family and I visited the Big Cat Rescue yesterday and had an amazing time. We watched the feeder feeding the big cats and the little cats. The feeder was talking to the cats with so much love in his voice that you know without a doubt how much the staff love and care for these animals. They educated us on what has happened to these animals and many more like them, hearing the stories behind these beautiful animals was heartbreaking and lit a fire in us to tell everyone we can what we have learned here and make sure they come to visit. The cats were so active and curious to the coming people, a few of them walked next to us in their cages until they couldn't folow us anymore. One tiger was rubbing up against the fence looking for love!! I can't wait to come back again and again!
Absolutely love this place!! The cats here are the happiest cats I have ever seen in captivity!! I would recommend anyone take a visit to see them and hear their stories!
Simply amazing. Every cat that is here has an arrival story and generally it's a bad one. To see the cats in what I felt were well oversized "catitats", treated with dignity, given great healthcare and given a quality of life they would not have otherwise received was a heartwarming experience.
Excellent education from those that are caring for them. One question that comes to mind is, "if you somehow acquired a cat like this, what kind of life will it have?" Think about it. Humans are the dominant species in the world and we have a responsibility to act as such.
Go visit Big Cat Rescue. I'm sure you will be as 'moved' as I was.
I had a fantastic time at the Big Cat Rescue in Tampa. I learned a lot about the reality of these creatures lives and what this amazing organization does to care for them. This experience gave me no doubt in my mind that I want to work with these beautiful beings! So next step is... fill out an application to volunteer there! :)