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.
As much as I have loved Big Cat Rescue ever since I first came across them on YouTube, I promised myself I would not write a review before actually visiting there. Now I finally have and it was a real dream come true.
I took part to Wildcat Walkabout on 1st of October in 2016 as a volunteer. I handed out tickets for the visitors, welcomed them and explained how they could support different projects with their ”conservation bucks”. Before that, on the previous day, I got the pleasure to have a look at the sanctuary itself. I got to meet the cats and all the hard-working interns, volunteers and staff members. Those are the nicest people you’ll ever meet, I can assure you. They work tirelessly to make sure the cats are doing well and everything is how it should be. I had long chats with Mrs. Baskin as well and she answered any questions I might have had.
It was amazing to see the Vacation Rotation Enclosure and Small Cat Funcation. Never have I seen such huge enclosures in zoos or animal parks. Their normal enclosures are filled with platforms, dens, pools, trees and grass; all the natural elements to make the cats feel at home. No concrete or pebbles, but pure soil under their paws.
I got to see the food preparation, which greatly impressed me. I already knew each cat has their unique diet, but to see it in person and follow the interns filling the food buckets with such care only enforced my respect for them and their work. I was also impressed by how carefully BCR was planning their event. There were 90 people helping on that day, mostly to make sure no one disturbed the cats or go beyond safety wire. Cats always come first there, no matter which day or event is underway.
I was introduced to intern housing, too. Big Cat Rescue does such fantastic work with how they’re doing their very best to be environmentally friendly. They use solar energy, they recycle their waste and they have specific instructions of their recycling policy in each of the trailers. If only every facility/company/business/organization chose to support green values as strongly as Big Cat Rescue does. After studying sustainable development I was prepared to make notes and request things to improve, but I quickly realized there was nothing I could have suggested to be done better. It was already beyond my expectations.
Big Cat Rescue has always been a huge inspiration for me. They’ve taught me that even one person can make a BIG difference and that one should never be afraid to speaking up for someone who has no voice to speak for themselves. It’s thanks to people at Big Cat Rescue I volunteered in South Africa, took part to Global March Against Canned Hunting and became a vegetarian. Without them I probably still wouldn’t have a clue how abusive cub petting is, what tiger farms are and that there are such awful places for animals in the world. They have opened my eyes in every possible way and for that I will always support them and their cause.
I have seen with my very own eyes how things at their facility work and how tirelessly they are all working for a better future for both people and animals. Thank you. I hope to return with my spouse one day in the future. He was greatly disappointed he had to stay at work while I got to experience this piece of heaven.
Big Cat Rescue in Tampa Florida is a must visit if you enjoy seein the cats being treated so beautifully. Most of the tour I felt like I was in the cage and the cats were roaming from. Great attention to detail regarding their well being, attentive trainers and beautiful enclosures so the cats are comfortable. Great learning experience too.
Highly recommend visiting this place. I have bee twice and intend to visit again. Definitely want to be a Trainer for a Day.
I visited Big Cat Rescue a few years ago and saw the amazing way they care for these beautiful animals and have been a supporter ever since! It's clear to see that they TRULY love doing what they do.
I have been going to BCR every year since 2002. On the tour, they give a history of a lot of the cats and why big cats should NEVER be a pet. My favourite thing is hearing about the cats' likes and dislikes. I work in a high stress customer service job and when I can't take it anymore I pull up you tube and watch the cats be cats. The stress melts away. It is a place that should be on everyone's list.
I have visited big cat rescue twice, and I will say, hands down this was the best experience! I've learned so much. I used to wish I would come across a cub petting event because of my love for tigers I just wanted to be able to pet one, now you couldn't pay me enough to do it. BCR is so for giving these awesome animals a great life that come from horrible people. I hope that everyone that visits, gets the same passion for saving these precious animals from private homes and zoo's. Thank you BCR for all you do.
I had the most wonderful time with staff, and learned so much
Thank you for taking such good care and giving an environment adapted to all of your friends at Big Cat Rescue.
actually, i am a former volunteer, only left because of distance of commute. I volunteered for 2+ years. Big Cat Rescue does an amazing job not only rescuing big cats but providing education to the public on what a true sanctuary is and how they can support and protect cats. They also provide support to other non-profits and all in all this is one of the most effective organizations i have ever been a part of.
My husband and I toured and volunteered at Big Cat Rescue on our honeymoon trip. It was magical and inspiring. They do great work there and we hope to bring or kids there so they can experience it too.
We have done both the Keeper's Tour and the Feeding Tour, and both were wonderful! Highly recommend visiting BCR.
I took an after school program for a tour of the facility. The guide was knowledgeable and friendly. The facilities are kid friendly. The cats are healthy looking and beautiful. I purchased tickets for my son and his girlfriend. They truly enjoyed it. Thank you for the work and education.
i went to the big cat rescue in July this year , i was excited to see the lions and tigers as i have never seen them close , the tour started good . we were shown bobcats , panthers etc
unfortunately we were not able to see the stars of the place zabu and Cameroon
but overall very nice place
will visit again
TOP NOTCH! Animals are well cared for PEOPLECARE
I visited Big Cat Rescue back in 2010 and we came away a changed family. Seeing these gorgeous cats, up close (4' away, safely caged beyond anyone's reach) and personal, hearing each of their stories whether they were "housepets" (BAD idea), retired from shows/circuses, or attempted to be rehabbed, but just couldn't make it in the wild, they ALL enjoy spacious cat-a-tats...not cages, mind you, but LARGE enclosures that are as close to what their natural habitat would have been in the wild. (They even have what they call a "vacation rotation" which is over 2 acres of fenced area with trees, lakes, sprinklers and different "enrichment" objects to keep the cats from being bored. Each cat/s take a two week vacation in an area where they can really run full speed ahead..and they love it. There's a smaller vacation rotation planned for the smaller cats.
They received the BEST in medical care...and animals are never euthanized unless it's the best thing for the cat...illness, injury, something that modern medicine just cannot heal.
Since my trip in 2010, I've kept up with BCR on a daily basis, and was even the lucky winner of an Animal Lover's Vacation they give away annually. If you visit their website, you can see where to register and I strongly advise you to do so! My "Animal Lover's Vacation" is set up in just a few weeks, and while I know that a lot has changed at the sanctuary (all for the better)...some cats have passed away, most due to extremely old age, there are others there I've never seen. To say that this vacation is a trip of a lifetime is an understatement. BUT..winner of the free vacation or not, if you are ever in the Tampa area Big Cat Rescue is somewhere you definitely want to visit while you're there.
You will never see such beautiful animals up close, the sound of a cougar lying on his back at his fencline purring at you...the talktive Ocelots...the Bobcats that make you feel so welcome, and the tiny Sand Cats...you'll learn about each animal and why they are there, tour the beautifully kept grounds, and even bet you come out of the gift shop with a souviner or three.
Check out all the available tours (and don't forget to registerfor that free vacation..given away each March) at www.bigcatrescue.org !
I visited the rescue a year ago and it changed the way I look at zoos, circuses, and big cats in general. The work these people do to pick up after other careless humans is amazing! Please support by visiting and creating awareness.
Hi & I was lucky enough to toutour in January, 2000. I was enthralled by the compound, & impressed by the dedication of the folks who devote their time & money to save the big cats, & to educate the public about the horrors & dangers of private ownership. I have been a supporter ever since, & look forward to another visit.
Deborah Swan, Rochester, NY
For a few years I had traveled quite a bit visiting and doing projects for animal facilities around this country. Back in 2004 I was blessed with a visit to Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida. It was like nothing I had ever seen, and I had seen and been behind the scenes of MANY of animal facilities. I began volunteering part time for them, two and half years later it was a full time job. I have been there ever since and doubt that I will ever leave. There was so much to learn that opened my eyes to so many things about big cat issues. My life is now, and forever will be, dedicated to their (our) mission. I LOVE BIG CAT RESCUE and getting to be a small part of the movement to change how the public views and treats big cats is an amazing journey / privilege. I am currently still there (2004 to present) but the drop down menu only had a 'former staff' option.
I interned with Big Cat Rescue back in 2010. We worked long hard days, but every minute was worth it. All of the work done on the sanctuary was centered around making things better for the cats that live there. Everyone is constantly coming up with new ways to improve the lives of the cats stuck in these cages. The efforts made by the sanctuary to educate the public were also phenomenal, educating people through tours about what being a wild cat really means and showing why they shouldn't be people's backyard pets. The fact that they provide information on legislation and contact letters visitors can send their congressmen shows that they are committed to improving the life of big cats every where, not just those of the cats present at the sanctuary. It is truly an impressive non profit that is focused on making the world a better place, taking nothing for itself and giving everything to its cats. The volunteers are friendly and hard working, as are the few staff members employed (the rescue is almost entirely volunteer run which is really impressive). It is a fun place to visit, and a cause I am honored to have supported with my time. I hope to one day return and volunteer there
topcatsroar is an alias for an old circus performer named Barbara Hoffmann, who lost her USDA license due to the horrid conditions in which she kept big cats in circus wagons. Now she makes a career of trying to discredit Big Cat Rescue, but we wear it as a badge of honor that the bad guys hate us so much. It means we are being very effective in ending the abuses they inflict on captive wild animals for their own gain. More about her here: http://911animalabuse.com/fred-lulling/
I've been volunteering with the Big Cats for years, and couldn't imagine not being a part of BCR!
Everyone from the staff to interns and volunteers care deeply for the animals are are incredibly dedicated to the cause.
Big Cat Rescue is an AMAZING place.
Not only does BCR provide excellent care to the cats, BCR's staff, volunteers, and supporters have been making great strides in changing legislation regarding exotic/wild animal ownership in the private sector.
This invokes criticism and downright attacks from private owners and breeders because the end of animal exploitation/ownership affects their livelihood.
The attacks come from those who have never been to Big Cat Rescue, and have never experienced the cats in their large, clean enclosures. The cats at BCR are happy and healthy.
The health of the cats of BCR is no secret. Any time a cat is having a procedure or is in the cat hospital, updates are posted on the public Facebook page for all to see.
Within the past few weeks, BCR said goodbye to two cats, a 15 year old bobcat with severe kidney disease, and a 19 year old serval who had lived 16 of those years at BCR. Both were put to sleep aka euthanized, due to advanced disease and decreased quality of life.
It was the most humane option, and BCR ALWAYS has the cats' best interest in mind.
Big Cat Rescue is by far the best organization I have ever volunteered for or visited. Not only do they provide top notch care for all of their cats, they do tremendous work to end the trade and exploitation of big cats. Educating the public about the plight of exotic cats is critical in ending the abuse and BCR makes change happen. It's so rewarding to aid such a wonderful organization where every day they are making strides toward their mission statement.
The cats calling Big Cat Rescue home are truly lucky. Most of the cats come from situations of abuse and neglect and finally get a new beginning at BCR. Not only do they provide excellent care for the cats, but they educate the public in order to end the trade and exploitation. If you haven't visited, add BCR to your "must see" list.
This place is horrible! The cats are sickly & are dying off of mysterious unknown causes, the cages are shoddy at best, the owner of this scamtuary is the epitome of scam artists. DO NOT donate to this place, find a reputable sanctuary to donate to.
The breeders, dealers and animal exploiters post hateful and untrue reviews regularly to try and bring down our overall ranking, so we really appreciate it when real visitors and supporters take the time to rate us. These two fake comments were posted when we released the news that we were awarded the 2012 Great Non Profits Award here: http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-dec-4-2012/ It is a testament to the great work we are doing to put an end to their abuses of wild cats that they stalk us and use such underhanded means to try and discredit us.