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.
Thank you to the incredible volunteers who give their time, energy and love to the beautiful big and little cats! We attended the feeding tour last Friday and it was clear that Desmond, volunteer and our tour guide, respected and cared for each of the cats. He was so knowledgeable about the cats and knew the quirks and story of each of them! While it is not the wild, Big Cat Rescue is the closest these babies will get to it! The enclosures are very large and support a natural way of living for the cats. One of the perks of the rescue is that the cats have a chance at living the longest and healthiest life possible because they receive routine medical care such as deworming, flea medication, and life saving surgeries such as teeth extractions, and mass removals, etc. They also have a cute little gift shop where you can buy gifts for all your loved ones and continue to support the rescue. My only regret is that I didn’t make it to more than one tour during my trip to St. Pete. I highly recommend scheduling a tour or two or three if you live in or willl be visiting the Tampa area!
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.
Big Cat Rescue is on a wonderful mission! A pleasure to visit as well!
Fantastic place, always a great experience. They always make you feel welcome. They treat the animals exactly how they should be.
What an amazing place! It was so educational. To see the care and compassion for these cats made my heart melt!!!! Cannot say enough great things about this organization!!
I visited Big Cat Resue last year. It was amazing. They provided me with so much education about big cats. I was able to tour and visit with the rescues. They are amazingly beautiful and their stories are heartbreaking...until you hear how BCR has helped them and saved them from abuse. I have followed them on Facebook ever since. I feel like I know all of the cats by name and theee little quirks based on the stories and the care that BCR provides to them. I also participate in some animal rights advocacy based on what they have taught me. I would give the 10 stars if I could!!! I can't wait to go back to visit again. It is truly an amazing non profit!!!
Big cat rescue works for the animals. They rescue abused animals from all over the world and give them a chance to live in peace.
I loved our tour!! This place is amazing! The tour was fascinating. The cats are so well taken care of. BCR is educational also. I learned so much
Was there this time last year and it was amazing
A really well run place and an obviously dedicated team of people who work there
I have visited Big Cat Rescue twice. Each time I have learned something new about what challenges they face with each new big cat they take in. They work hard to educate the world on why wild cats do not belong in your home, and to defend the rights of the ones currently be caged and in humanly treated. The individuals that work to maintain this facility are selfless and take pride in maintaining the quality of the animals lives they are entrusted with. I always remind family and friends when visiting Florida make this a must stop and it will leave a lasting impression on you!
My granddaughter and I visited Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, FL this past spring, 2015. What a great experience! We learned how to make enrichment toys for the cats and then we visited them in their homes. The volunteers were so interesting and knowledgeable about each of the cats and their habitats, likes, and dislikes. They even knew all their names, species, and when they came to the rescue. We were so impressed that they knew so much. But most important, it was evident how much they cared for each one of the cats! The cats are so lucky to have Big Cat Rescue to take care of them.
Big Cat Rescue is a favorite destination. I try to make it my first stop every time I fly in from Ohio to visit my parents. It is only 15-20 minutes from Tampa Airport and just 9 miles down the road from Busch Gardens. I am sad both snow leopards have passed on, but there are still so many beautiful big cats to admire. There are several fun ways to support this incredible nonprofit organization, including taking the tours, purchasing merchandise, "adopting" your favorite cats. If you are an Amazon shopper, you can also sign up through Amazon.smile to have a portion of your purchases go to BCR!
We went to BCR last year and it was fantastic. The staff was very helpful and informative. Thank you BCR for what you do
Big Cat Rescue has the happiest cats in the USA. The enclosures are larger and more enriched than in most zoos. The vacation area is genius. We encourage all visitors to the Tampa area to visit.
This was a great way to spend part of our vacation. Tours are alot of fun and educational. It is amazing what Big Cat Rescue has done for these beautiful animals. The enclosures are huge with lots of enrichment opportunities for the cats. They are fascinating to watch and they are being very well care for by the amazing staff at Big Cat Rescue. It is obvious they care by the work they do.
We went on the kids tour. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and great at interacting with the kids and keep them engaged.
We had a wonderful private tour of Big Cat Rescue during our visit to the Tampa Bay area in August 2014. Our daughter was too young to go on the general tour, so we enjoyed the personal attention of our guide who made our tour fun as well as informative. She made sure to include as many of our favourite cats as possible (we have followed Big Cat Rescue on Youtube for a few years now) whilst giving them the peace and respect they deserve. Our eyes were certainly opened as to what goes on in the world with regard to big cats and we continue to support this sanctuary.
I have traveled from California to Tampa, Florida specifically to visit Big Cat Rescue twice. I learned about BCR from a race director of Calico Racing who donates to BCR. It is a magnificent facility to visit. The staff & volunteers are courteous, knowledgable, & fun to listen to. The cats, big & small, are very well taken care of. As a guest, you visit an amazing variety of cats & some other catlike beings - my brother fell in love with Banjo, a binterung who has passed away. The facility is clean & well maintained - there's a small gift shop as well. I went on the general tour and feeding tour - both are well worth the visit. Instead of going to a zoo, where the animals are depressed & hopeless, visit BCR instead - help the cats, learn a lot about them & the horrors of the exotic cat trade, & support a worthwhile cause.
BCR is a paradise for this big cats! As a feline lover I had the opportunity to visit them and saw how much love and effort they put on these "babies". They make sure that these big cats have a better life that most of them were having!!! If there were more stars I would have given them to BCR! They truly make a difference and try to educate us along the way!