Kids Camp

Kids Camp

No Summer Camp in 2015

Changes in the Education Department

 

We have had a wonderful Education Department for many years thanks to people like Willow, Beth, Kathryn and others who ran it and helped in so many ways. There have been many children educated and thrilled with the free to low cost tours and summer camp has been hugely popular with children and their parents. It’s been a great program and I appreciate everyone who has been involved in making it so.

Willow has announced that she is moving away and rather than just hiring someone to continue the program, I took some time to think about what our core mission is here and how we can change the Education Program to achieve our primary goal of ending the trade in captive exotic cats.

The new Education Department will focus on raising awareness about the plight of captive big cats and how breeding, handling and privately owning them harms conservation efforts.  The Education Department will have achieved its purpose if the majority of the listeners then take action to end the trade, such as through calling their member of Congress or contacting them in an effective and educated manner.

To devote time and energy to educating those who can influence decision makers means we have to scale back on other areas of our previous Education Program that are time consuming, resource intensive and lack immediate impact on the abuses that cause so much big cat suffering.

Summer Camp requires two employees, several interns, and a plethora of volunteers to keep the attending children safe and entertained all day for several weeks of the year when we are already overwhelmed with the daily operations of providing care to 100+ aging exotic animals. The children in our camps won’t be voters for many more years. By that time some species of big cats may have already died out in the wild because of the smokescreen caused by the legal trade in big cats as pets and pay to play props.

Big Cat Rescue will focus our attention on ending the trade in wild cats before it is too late. We will no longer be offering Summer Camp at the sanctuary and will dramatically scale back the number of free and low cost tours that we provide to young children. We know how important it is to educate youngsters and especially those at risk, and will continue to do so, but will focus our efforts on reaching a broader audience than we can accommodate onsite. With the technology available today, there are many ways we can do that without tying up staff and volunteers to manage busloads of children.

We have hired a new Director of Outreach and her name is Jennifer Leon. She will be handling group tours and field trips that have already been scheduled and will be responding to requests but her area of focus will be in educating and inspiring an adult audience who can make a difference NOW for the cats.

Please know that we appreciate all that you and your family may have done in supporting our Education Program and bear with us as we evolve to be more effective. – Carole Baskin, CEO

 

 

Have One Wild Time on Your Summer Vacation!!!

 

AN ADVENTURE TO REMEMBER!  (For ages 8 to 15)

 

Children 8 to 15 years old are invited to explore the great outdoors with 100+ big cats of every size, color and purrsonality. While participating in educational activities campers enjoy meeting lions, tigers, leopards and many other felines. Join us for outdoor exploration on our 55 acre campus while learning about animal habitats, diets, adaptations and conservation. Interactive learning opportunities include diet preparation, scavenger hunts and keeper demonstrations of feedings and behavioral training with the cats.

Class size is limited to ensure a quality experience for each camper, so don’t miss out! Each class is staffed by two or more adults.

Summer Camp Big Cat Rescue

 

To register for Summer Camp, please read the following:

Summer campers between the ages of 8 and 15 are invited to share their vacation with 100+ big cats of every size, color and personality.  While participating in educational activities the campers will enjoy meeting lions, tigers, leopards and many other felines.  Learning about animal habitats, diets, adaptations and conservation issues will be an adventure to remember!  Campers will enjoy outdoor exploration on the 55 acre campus at Big Cat Rescue.  Interactive learning opportunities will include diet preparation, scavenger hunts, and keeper demonstrations of feedings and behavioral training with the cats.

Your child will learn about the animals’ lives in the wild and in captivity, the challenges they face, and what we can do to save them from extinction. Activities include arts and crafts, games, movies, guest speakers, and plenty of outdoor exploration.

Important Things You Need to Know

Time: Camps start promptly at 9:00 a.m. and end promptly at 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Please drop your child off between 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. If an emergency arises that prevents timely drop off and pick up please call 813-393-6066 to let us know. Unfortunately, traffic is a common occurrence in Tampa, so please anticipate and plan accordingly.

What to Bring: Campers need to wear closed-toe shoes (like tennis shoes, no sandals) and clothes that can get dirty.  They are required to wear their camp T-shirt each day.  One T is included in your tuition. Extras are $10 apiece. Campers need to bring sunscreen lotion, bug repellent, a rain poncho, drinking water, a snack and a lunch. 

Camp Rules & RegulationsIn order to maintain a safe, fun and favorable learning environment for all, campers who repeatedly cause disruptions or do not follow rules are subject to dismissal from camp without a refund.  

  • Campers must stay with the group; for no reason should you walk away from the group. If you need to be excused please talk to the teacher or her assistants and get permission. You will be escorted. 
  • Remain at least 4 feet away from all cages at all times.
  • Listen and follow directions.
  • Walk to all destinations. There is no horseplay, no running or shouting allowed. Many of our cats came from abuse situations and we do not want to scare or excite them.
  • Respect adults, fellow campers, the animals and their environment. Do not chase or touch any of the birds including the peacocks, ducks, etc.
  • We are not responsible for any lost or stolen items. Please leave personal items such as toys and video games at home.
  • CELL PHONES ARE NOT PERMITTED AT CAMP.  Please leave them at home. Your child may bring a camera to take photos only.  Teachers or the Director of Outreach will contact parents in case of emergency.
  • Watch out for fire ant hills; make sure not to stand where antsare active.
  • If you don’t feel well, or need water please let us know!!!
  • Have Fun!!!!

I have read all of the rules and regulations for Big Cat Rescue’s summer camp, I agree to abide by these rules, and I want to:

Big Cat Camp FAQ

 

1. Hey! Things are different from 2012!

A: You’re right! We added Fridays to each week of camp, and we made the days a little longer—9 am to 4 pm. This way we can accommodate campers with working parents a little better. Please drop your child off and pick them up at our main entrance, which is 12802 Easy Street, Tampa, FL 33625

2. Will my child be petting the cats?

A: NO. We are a non-contact facility, and even our volunteers and staff do not touch the cats. Your child will not have any physical contact with cats at any time. The campers will remain behind a fence 3-5 feet off the side of the cages at all times.

3. Can my child bring their cell phone to use for taking photos?

A: No. Your child may bring a camera to take photos during camp, and we highly encourage them to do so. Please leave cell phones at home, as they are a huge distraction from camp activities and can become a safety hazard.

4. Can parents observe or participate in any camp activities?

A: Parents are welcome to remain for about 30 minutes on the first day of camp, to meet their child’s teachers and Big Cat staff, and to receive an introduction to camp schedule and activities. Parents are also welcome to ask the staff any questions they have before or after the camp day, or to call or email with any questions. However, parents are not allowed to observe or participate in any camp activities during the camp day—those are for campers only.

5. What kind of experience with kids do Big Cat camp staff members have?

A: Big Cat Rescue staff, interns and volunteers have many combined years of giving kids’ tours of the sanctuary, babysitting, working at other children’s camps, working towards degrees in Education, and running Big Cat Camp since 2006. We also have two certified teachers from the Tampa Bay area who are the summer camp counselors.

Summer Campers at Big Cat Rescue

6. If my child has to miss a day of camp because of our vacation, do I get a refund for that day?

A: No refunds are issued after 14 days prior to camp except in case of medical emergency.

7. Is my child safe at Big Cat Rescue? You have a lot of safety rules.

A: Absolutely. Your child is supervised by two or more adults at all times.  The campers are behind a fence at all times which goes around the outside of every cage. When they are in the classroom at the back of the property, the younger children are separated from the cats in the sanctuary by a locked gate. Our cats’ enclosures are extremely secure, and the staff is very well trained in emergency procedures, including first aid, CPR, and use of the AED machine. Our safety protocols are in place to make sure all guests on the property are safe from the cats.

 

Past Year’s Summer Camp was a Roaring Success!

What Our Campers and Parents Said…

 

“Katie loves your camps. This is her 3rd year. I am grateful for the opportunity for her to learn about the wonderful animals in your care.”

“Cassie truly loved the experience. Thank you so much . . . !”

“My daughter loved every minute of it and has learned so much.”

“My child was extremely happy at this camp. Thank you!”

“Consistent quality. She loved it! Has for 6 years.”

“Getting to see, [make diets], learn, and be around the cats . . . was a fun experience.”

“I liked seeing the cats play with the big enrichment while I was watching them.”

“I wish the camp was a week longer.”

“I have never seen anything that has excited him more than Big Cat Rescue Camp. He woke up every morning this week asking if it was time to go. He loved evry minute. Will be back next year!”

 

 

Weddings

Weddings

Weddings at Big Cat Rescue are never… Ordinary!

 

Get married at Big Cat RescueEnjoy a taste of life less ordinary. Bring your wedding to Big Cat Rescue – nothing could be more unique! If typical wedding ceremonies are not for you, Big Cat Rescue can provide the perfect setting for the wedding ceremony of your dreams. A day everyone will remember and be talking about for years.

 

Big Cat Rescue provides a setting of sheer paradise for nature-loving couples seeking an exotic location for the wedding of their dreams. Imagine palm trees stirring in a light breeze, sunlight trickling through the canopy of trees overhead. Your guests are seated, anticipating the ceremony to begin. Then you hear the ROAR of several of our wild cats; announcing they too are witness to your special moment. There is nothing ordinary about a wedding at Big Cat Rescue; an unforgettable memory.

 

You and your guests will feel you have traveled to the ends of the earth, surrounded by 69 acres, home to over 100 exotic cats. But you haven’t. You’ve just had the wedding ceremony of your dreams at Big Cat Rescue.

 

“One of the most popular locations for Tampa weddings.”

 

Weddings are nothing short of amazing at Big Cat Rescue, a sanctuary home to approximately 100 exotic wild cats.

 

Big Cat Rescue provides the ideal backdrop for weddings, but the experience doesn’t stop there. The wedding couple and guests can follow the ceremony with a private up-close tour of our sanctuary; visiting the special Cat-a-tat homes to our rescued exotic cats. Around every corner awaits a unique experience. Follow your tour with an indoor reception at our ‘Lions Lair Party Pavilion’. No part of your special day will be ordinary at Big Cat Rescue.

 

Countless Options Available to ensure that your Wedding Day Is a Totally Unique Experience for all in Attendance.

 

Wedding Party at Big Cat Rescue

“We didn’t want a big, fancy or traditional wedding ceremony but we did want it to be memorable for ourselves, our family and our friends. Our *wedding consultant* Barbara was always available to answer any questions that I had along the path. We had friends from as far away as Finland come for our wedding.

 

Everyone had a great time and we so enjoyed the walking tour afterward. What a wonderful experience! From the Guinea Hens to the Tigers, they all assisted in making our day so special. THANK YOU Carole, Barbara and all the volunteers of BigCats for providing this service for us. We so appreciate your sharing BigCat Rescue and your wonderful animals with us so that our special day became not only special but unforgettable.

 

Bobby and Susi Kirkpatrick
Lakeland, FL

 

10/21/2010 “Thank you for having our wedding! Is was such a unique and memorable experience. You all really made us feel welcome and very special. The tour was wonderful too and we enjoyed learning & meeting all the Kitties and now are sharing all that we saw with friends & family at home. I hope we’ll get back to Florida sometime so we can stop in and say “hello” again! Sabina & Jason

 

 

If you are looking for an out of the ordinary setting for your wedding…

 

Look no further!

 

So many details, so little time! Not a worry! Big Cat Rescue can take care of almost everything.

 

  • We can provide digital wedding photography and state-of-the-art HD video too!
  • Need more assistance planning your special day? Not to worry. Call or email us for details at 813.962.3837 or Weddings@bigcatrescue.org
  • For additional costs we can supply big cat themed decorations like the ones below.

Who do you know that’s been married in the midst of over 100 exotic species of wild cats?

 

tigerlionYou can have the wedding of your dreams – unlike any other – and have the peace of mind knowing that your wedding dollars are going to fund this Big Cat Sanctuary; home to over 100 unwanted, abandoned, and abused animals. All of your wedding dollars go directly to the cats; providing them with better Cat-a-tats, food, and health care.

 

Prices

Wedding ceremony: $200.00

Bride, Groom and each guest: multiply by $39.00 for seating on the sandy white beach and your private guided tour of the Sanctuary.

Digital Wedding Photography: $400.00. Price includes a CD of all photos and a slide-show CD set to music. OR

HD Video: $400.00 with footage on disc. We only have one person to do both photos and videos, so he can only do one or the other (photos or video). You are welcome to have your own person doing photos and videos at no charge, other than the $39.00 visiting fee.

There is a 25% non-refundable deposit. Prices and terms subject to change without notice. Call or email for details. 813.920.4130 x 3 Weddings@bigcatrescue.org

As seen in Tampa Bay’s Best Wedding and Party Planner Fox 13 and Cox Radio’s Valentine’s Day Wedding Stories

cat themed wedding sign BigCatWedding-Invite BigCatWedding-LongTables BigCatWedding-TableByLake BigCatWedding-TableRunner BigCatWedding-TableRunnerVases

For more information on your eligibility to marry in Hillsborough County Florida visit the Clerk’s Office.

 

See and read more about renting the Lions Lair Party Pavilion

 

Create a wedding gift registry with the I Do Foundation’s partner stores and up to 10% of gift purchases will be donated to your favorite charity. Choose Big Cat Rescue when you register HERE

 

Reserve your date today!

 

Get Married At Big Cat Rescue

All the Cool Cats Get Married At Big Cat Rescue

We will help make your wedding a one-of-a-kind unique experience. Weddings@bigcatrescue.org

 

Did you tie the knot at Big Cat Rescue?

 

Is so, please share your story with our potential newlyweds below by adding your comments:

 

Purr-fect Couple

Regina Brian Purrfect Couple Wedding Big Cat Rescue

So, where did you spend your honeymoon? Acapulco, Costa Rico, Tahiti? For animal lovers Regina and Brian Turgeon the decision was easy – Big Cat Rescue! These newlyweds have always wanted to come and see our amazing Sanctuary. What better time then on their honeymoon!
Regina and Brian were married in Chicopee, Mass. on September 5. To make this time in their lives extra special they journeyed to Tampa and Big Cat Rescue. The couple went all out and scheduled all the fantastic tours that are available. They enjoyed a Photo Tour, Day Tour, Keeper Tour, Night Tour, Feeding Tour and the best of all was a Private Tour with Animal Planet Hero of the Year Scott Lope. Both agreed that “meeting Scott was their most memorable moment”.
Regina said that their favorite cat on the tour was Hercules the Snow Leopard. “Being so close to this magnificent cat that is an Endangered Species was indescribable”. “In fact, being so close to all these animals was truly beyond words”. Both Regina and Brian agreed “that out of all we have seen and done on this trip, visiting Big Cat Rescue was absolutely the highlight”.
Big Cat Rescue wishes Regina and Brian a wonderful future together and invites them to return on their anniversary.

 

Barbara
Volunteer Senior Keeper

Photo Safari Tour

Photo Safari Tour

Tiger in the grass on photo safari at Big Cat RescuePrivate Tours require advance reservation and prepayment.

For details call 813.920.4130 x 3 or email Reservations@bigcatrescue.org

 

Photo Safari at Big Cat Rescue

 

Big Cat Rescue is proud to offer photographers, professional and amateur alike, the opportunity to photograph 15 species and sub-species of exotic cats.The tropical Florida climate lends itself to providing lush green backdrops and the natural landscaping of the enclosures simulates the natural habitat of the cats. A 3-acre tiger enclosure has been constructed out into a lake so that you can photograph four of our most magnificent tigers swimming, playing, and lounging at the water’s edge. South American cougars can be photographed in palmetto and oak forest settings. Asian and African leopards, both spotted and black, can be photographed in lush foliage and lounging in trees. Northern and southern bobcats live in natural wooded environments, perfect for getting priceless shots of bobcats doing bobcat things (sneaking through high grass, climbing trees, or lounging in shady spots). Other species available in beautiful natural surroundings include; servals, ocelots, caracals, Siberian lynx, lions, jungle cats, leopard cats, Geoffroy cats and even binturongs. Look through the photos on this site under Photos and Facts to see what is available to you.We cater to small groups.You can shoot throughout the day or divide your day into two sessions (a minimum of one hour each), in order to make the most of morning and evening light. If it rains, you will only be charged for the hours you shoot, at our hourly rate. Advance reservations and your preferred scheduling are required so that we can accommodate you. Choose to tour the sanctuary and take photographs along the way or visit specific species.

Bobcat in a tree on photo safari at Big Cat RescueMany people visit in the winter months to escape their northern temperatures, however, by latter December, January and February the plants here have gone to brown. Florida is hot and lush with greenery from March through November. The cats are not as active as in the cooler months, but sometimes it is much easier to focus on a lounging cat than a moving one.All of the money generated from the Private Tours goes directly into providing large natural enclosures for the cats, and unlike many game farms, our cats live in these enclosures year round and so they are relaxed and comfortable in their surroundings.
Also, unlike most places that offer photo safaris, our animals come first. If a cat isn’t in the mood, then we move on to someone who is and will not impose on the animal. Some of our more elusive cats can be very difficult and we cannot guarantee that you will get a good photo of the Geoffroy cats, leopard cats, sand cats, etc. but we will give it our best effort.

Due to USDA regulations we must keep you outside of the 4-foot barricades around the enclosures at all times. If you have professional equipment you can focus past the 4″ x 4″ cage wire if the cat is far enough from the side of the enclosure. If you are using amateur equipment, you will have cage wire in most of your photographs. If the tigers come down to swim we have an area where you can photograph from a dock without cage wire visible and sometimes the binturongs are viewable in the trees above the wire.

For more info contact Reservations@bigcatrescue.org or 813.426.5948

* To get photos like these, you will need a tripod and long zoom lens.

 

Big Cat Rescue Photo FAQ

 

What is the difference between a Private Photo Tour and other tours?

Private Photo Tours are designed for professional and serious amateur photographers who want to get great shots of the animals. The cats live in beautifully landscaped enclosures complete with trees, flowers, grass, and in some cases lakes, ponds and waterfalls. We do not “handle” the cats for photographers; instead, participants in the photo tour follow the guide around to different enclosures while we look for animals that are already “posing” for pictures. Sometimes treats are given to the animals to coax them into different areas of their enclosures. We never guarantee a shot because we don’t force any animalto do anything.

Tiger in pondWill I have an unobstructed view of the cats?

Due to safety regulations we cannot allow you close enough to the cats to stick your lens though the 4″ x 4″ wire mesh. (Anyone who does is violating USDA guidelines, unless the cat is wired or chained down and we really hope you won’t support those kinds of places!) You and your camera must stay at least 3 feet from the side walls of the enclosures. If you have a professional zoom lens, you can often focus through the wire to the cat. If you are not using professional grade equipment, you will have cage wire in your photographs, like this image.

How much does a photo tour cost?

Check Zerve for pricing and reservations.

How long are photo tours?

The most popular amount of time for a Private Photo Tour is 2 hours. If you only want to photograph tigers or lions you could probably get some nice shots in an hour but if you want photos of some of the smaller, more elusive cats like sand cats or ocelots 3-4 hours might be necessary. You must make a decision on how long you would like to spend photographing the animals when you make your reservation because we have to have a set amount of time to set aside for our guides.

When are photo tours offered?

Private Photo Tour are offered every day except Thursday by reservation only. Mornings are usually better with most photo tours beginning at 8 or 9 a.m. or if you prefer, 2 or 3 p.m.

What time of year is best?

During May-September it is rainy and cloudy and very hot but it is also very green and blooming with flowers at the sanctuary. From October through February it can be cold and the foliage can turn brown but it is not muddy or cloudy very often. In March and April the weather warms up and foliage begins to turn green again and the rain days are few and far between.

What species of animals are there at Big Cat Rescue?

Big Cat Rescue is home to more than a dozen species of cats and a few other animals including lions (both male and female), tigers (both orange and white), leopards (both golden and black), cougars, lynx, bobcats, caracals, servals, jungle cats, ocelots, and more. The  property is also home to many varieties of wild native Florida birds including herons, egrets, osprey, woodpeckers and cardinals and also non-native fowl such as guinea hens.

What photo equipment should I bring?

Big Cat Rescue is situated on 69 acres and has no paved trails so travel light. A 28-105mm zoom lens and a 75-300 or 400mm lens are both suggested. Film speeds between 200-800 work best with the shady conditions that our trees provide but 100 speed film can be used in sunny spots or with a flash. Tripods and monopods are not useful in most situations because the animals move by the time you have composed your shot. Don’t forget to bring extra batteries, film and/or memory cards.

What should I wear?

Taking the weather into consideration, wear appropriate clothes for a nice hike including comfortable shoes, sunscreen, bug repellent and clothes you can get dirty or muddy. In the summer, rain routinely floods the walking paths throughout the sanctuary so wear shoes you can get very wet or muddy. Also, don’t wear heavy scents or perfumes because they can attract the cats.

How do I make a reservation?

Check Zerve for pricing and reservations.

Some of our film credits include the series The Most X-treme Killer Cats, Sheena, The Jack Hanna Show, The Today Show, Venus Swimwear’s catalog and billboards, Home Shopping Network and these:

At Left, Disney cinema photographer records leopard sounds for the animated Disney production, Dinosaurs.

Publix shot a Fall commercial here and used the Leopard Tiki Huts as a backdrop. The commercial featured Black Majik the leopard, Musfasa and Sarabi, the lions, Purrfection and Purrsistence, the Ocelots and Natasha and Willow, the Siberian Lynx.

Prices and terms subject to change without notice.

If you have take a photo tour at Big Cat Rescue please share a link to your photo album and tell others about your experience below.

Private Tour

Private Tour

 

tickets

Get your tickets through Zerve Online by clicking the ticket or call toll free 1-888-316-5875 or 212-209-3370 (int’l callers)

Be the VIP of your own Private Tour!

Our regular Day Tours are a great way to see the animals , but you never know if you will be on a tour with no other people or with a dozen other people. In some cases you may just not be able to make it at a regularly scheduled tour time.

Because we try harder to make sure your donations go to the animals, rather than staff, we rely on volunteers to give the tours. To make it worthwhile to pull our volunteers from the very necessary work of caring for the animals to give you a private tour we charge $110.00 for the first person and $55 per additional person.

These tours are one hour long and you see the same things you would see on a regular tour. The difference is that you have the tour guide all to yourself and you can see the cats that most interest you as well as have the opportunity tolinger to take photographs.  You can take photos and videos on all of our tours, but must keep up with the group.  On Private Tours, you choose the route and pace.

For our Private Tours, you must buy tickets in advance.

For a private tour with the Founder Carole Baskin the price is $110.00 per person with a minimum of $550.00 per tour. (Each additional guest after 5 is $55 per person.) These tours are the same duration as the regular day tours (1.5 hrs) and you see the same things you would see on a regular tour. The only difference is that you have the Founder, Carole Baskin as your guide.

You can buy gift certificates for these Founder or Private Tours as well!

get info & book at zerve

FAQ

[toc]

Tell me more about Photo Tours

To see what equipment to bring and what to expect on a Photo Tour visit Photo Safari.

Check out Visit the Cats to find out more about all of the exciting ways that you can have fun and help save the wild cats! We offer Day Tours, Night Tours and Keeper Tours.

 

How do I get to Big Cat Rescue?

How to get to Big Cat Rescue

 

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?

All ages are welcome but 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.

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.

Get up close and purr-sonel

What if it rains?

The DayTour 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.

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 yellow box on this page: Gift Certificates for Feeding Tours

Do you offer other tours?

Yes! Check out Visit the Cats to find out more about all of the exciting ways that you can have fun and help save the wild cats! We offer Feeding Tours, Day Tours and Keeper Tours and more.

Be the VIP of your own private tour

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

There is no smoking allowed at Big Cat Rescue.

We do not allow smoking at Big Cat Rescue, except in the parking lot.

 

If you have been on one of our Private Tours please share your experience here:

 

Night Tour

Night Tour

 

tickets

Get your tickets through Zerve Online by clicking the ticket or call toll free 1-888-316-5875 or 212-209-3370 (int’l callers)

An hour walking tour after dark, come experience the big cats at night!

Imagine…It’s the night of a full moon and you are groping through the underbrush in the wilds of a Florida forest when you hear the roar of lions and tigers so close you can almost feel their hot breath!

Armed with only a flashlight you continue on at the urging of your guide and notice that you are the main attraction to all the wild animals living on Easy Street.  You see hundreds of glowing eyes, all focused on you and as you pass the enclosures you hear the rushing of the great cats as they make a pounce for you in the dark.

You’ll hear the roaring of tigers, the screaming of cougars and the caterwauling of bobcats, lynx and more as you try to get back to the safety of your car.  It’s an adrenaline rush to turn the tables and become the hunted rather than the hunter.  It’s an experience you will remember and talk about for years to come.  It’s what we call the Wild Eyes At Night Tour!

The tour will begin after dark, which changes each month so note the time on the calendar for the date you select. Even those of us who live here still feel the tingle up our spine when we walk through the park after dark.

It’s all grrreat fun for you and helps us save big cat lives!

 


get info & book at zerve
 

 

FAQ

[toc]

Check out Visit the Cats to find out more about all of the exciting ways that you can have fun and help save the wild cats! We offer Day ToursNight Tours and Keeper Tours.

 

How do I get to Big Cat Rescue?

How to get to Big Cat Rescue

 

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. 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.

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.

What if it rains?

The DayTour 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.

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 yellow box on this page: Gift Certificates for Feeding Tours

Do you offer private tours?

Yes! Please see the list of all activities to get more information about our Private Tours.  Check out Visit the Cats to find out more about all of the exciting ways that you can have fun and help save the wild cats! We offer Feeding Tours, Day Tours and Keeper Tours

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

There is no smoking allowed at Big Cat Rescue.

We do not allow smoking at Big Cat Rescue, except in the parking lot.

If you have been on a Keeper Tour, please tell others about your experience below:

If you survived the Wild Eyes at Night tour share your tale below:

 

 

Parties and Events

Parties and Events

Looking for a unique venue for a personal party or corporate offsite or event?

Big Cat Rescue offers a unique venue for corporate meetings, offsites, mixers and parties as well as personal parties like birthdays, anniversaries, bridal showers or weddings. Pictured below is the 1800 sf home with 1400 sf covered patio used for such events. The home offers a rustic setting with a view of our 18 acre lake. Events can include one of three levels of visit to see the cats, a 5 minute walk to peek at a few of our tigers, a half hour tour to see more, or a full tour for an hour.The setting and tour make for an unforgettable, unique event. And you have the satisfaction of knowing that your donations and tour fees all go to help support the cats. Examples of Past events include:

  • Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries Two Day Workshop for 22 sanctuary CEOs
  • Accenture offsite for 25 staff
  • Upper Tampa Bay Chamber Mixer for 89 members
  • American Momentum Bank offsites for Branch Managers and then Assistant Branch Managers
  • Jaguar of Tampa management meeting
  • Hemophilia Foundation of Greater Florida lecture
  • Singer Terez Hartmann’s “Law of Attraction” Party
  • Holtec International party for Engineers, Scientists, Project Managers and VPs of clients  (more…)