These rates and policies apply to schools and scout groups. For all other private groups tours, including home-school groups, please visit our Group Tour page for prices and policies. Big Cat Rescue offers Field Trips for schools and scouts, and Group Tours for other groups that may include children.
- Tours are available on M, T & F anytime between 10:00 am – 1:30 pm. We are closed on Wednesdays & Thursdays. We do not offer private group tours on weekends.
- This is approximately a 90-minute guided walking tour of our outdoor sanctuary.
- For school groups and scouts.
- Minimum 10 / maximum 60 people (students & adults) in one day.
- Minimum age is 10 years old/5th-grade level.
- Groups must arrive 30 minutes prior to tour time.
- Advanced booking is required. Blackout weeks in January, April, and December. No Field Trips scheduled in March.
- Students $34
- Teachers – one free per 20 students
- Adults $49 (includes chaperones & additional teachers)
If you believe that your organization may qualify for a free or discounted tour, please complete and submit our Needs Based Application. This application must be submitted before to scheduling your tour. Organizations may only participate in one free or discounted group tour per year.
For more information or to schedule a private group tour, please contact the Director of Outreach, Jennifer Leon, at Education@bigcatrescue.org.
–> If you would like a private group tour, for 10 or more people, but you are not a school or scout group, please visit the Group Rates page.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
On-site Educational Tours
Students experience a 90-minute guided walking tour of the sanctuary to observe and learn about a number of our residents of various species. We discuss the individual stories of the cats, facts about the species, and the issues of wildlife in captivity. In many cases, students may stand only 4 to 6 feet away from some of the world’s most endangered cats. The tour discussion is tailored to the age of your students and their areas of interest or study.
Outreach Educational Programs
Outreach educational programs focus on a presentation in a classroom and are appropriate for all ages. Students learn about the exotic animals that call Big Cat Rescue home. We discuss what a day is like at the sanctuary, how we care for our cats, and facts about the different species – from their habitat to adaptations. We also share tips on how we can all be big cat rescuers. Children learn the same things about the animals that they would on a sanctuary tour, but in a classroom setting. We do not bring any of our animals to outreach presentations.
Presentations are PowerPoint-like slide shows featuring photos, videos, and sounds. We may also bring handouts for students such as coloring sheets, word puzzles, newsletters, and pictures. To grab the student’s attention we use props such as big cat toys, tooth replicas, skull replicas, or plaster casts of a big cat footprints – students can compare their hand size to the tiger’s paw size!
Programs run approx 30-45 minutes, depending on the age of the students and needs of the school. We allow time for questions and discussion. For more information or to schedule your presentation, please contact the Director of Outreach, Jennifer Leon, at Education@bigcatrescue.org.
Great American Teach-In
Interested in having Big Cat Rescue speak to your Tampa Bay Area students for the Great American Teach-In? Space is limited. Schools are scheduled on a first come, first serve basis. We do not bring any of our animals to schools. Contact our Director of Outreach, Jennifer Leon, at Education@bigcatrescue.org.
Watch us on YouTube or Explore.org!
Big Cat Rescue post fun and educational videos to our YouTube channel, BigCatTV.com, twice a week. Videos include rescues and species spotlights. We also have nine live cameras that may be viewed 24/7 on Explore.org.
Sadly, many people who call us for an outreach program asks that we bring a cat. This shows us the huge need for educating the educators. One of the biggest problems that we face as a sanctuary is the never-ending flood of animals in need of a place to live out their lives. The single largest cause of all of these unwanted animals are people who use them for “education” and “edutainment” until they won’t work any longer, which is usually by the time they are 1 to 5 years old.
People sell themselves as rescuers and as being involved in conservation, even when all of the money you pay them really goes into their own pockets. Many of them work under the guise of nonprofits, but a further look into their tax returns will show that only the people running the show benefited from your donations. The people who make their living by bringing big cats to your schools and events will then will dump the cats when they refuse to work. Then they buy or breed a new cub that will work for a few years more. These cats live to be in excess of 20 years and there is nowhere for them to go.
Please do not add to this problem by paying people to bring wild or exotic cats out in public. It is demeaning to the cat, dangerous for the audience, and is not the message of respect that we should be teaching our children. There is no substitute for seeing these animals in their naturalistic Cat-A-Tats here at Big Cat Rescue.
What can kids do to help the animals?
Learn about animals so you can be their voice.
Write your congressman. We make it easy at www.CatLaws.com
Don’t wear or play with things made out of real animals.
If you see fur for sale at a store tell the manager that it’s cruel to kill animals for their fur.
Don’t go to animal shows or circuses that use animals.
Don’t let people bring wild animals to your school. They aren’t props!
Recycle ink cartridges and cell phones at bigcatrescue.org/ink
Or you can wash cars, mow yards, walk the neighbor’s dogs or have a yard or bake sale.
Instead of gifts for birthdays or holidays, ask your friends to help you sponsor a cat.
Ask to see where the animals are kept when the zoo isn’t open. Most spend half their lives shut in small cells.
Try reducing the amount of meat you eat or adopting a vegetarian diet. Meatless Mondays are a great start!
Pick up litter. Lots of wild animals are hurt from eating or being trapped in litter.
Spay or neuter your pets. Hundreds of thousands of pets are killed each year because there are more babies than homes.
Microchip your pets so they can always find their way home.
Website facts for school reports regarding copyright issues
Big Cat Rescue is the largest accredited sanctuary in the world dedicated to rescuing and caring for abused and abandoned exotic cats. Located in Tampa, Florida, we are home to more than 70 big cats, including tigers, lions, cougars, leopards, and bobcats. Big Cat Rescue’s mission is to provide the best home we can for the cats in our care, end abuse of big cats in captivity, and prevent the extinction of big cats in the wild.
Big Cat Rescue agrees to the use of our website as a resource for your school project provided that the media production in no way condones, promotes, or otherwise glamorizes the private ownership of exotic cats, their use as entertainment or sport, or breeding of captive exotic cats. Further, we allow the use of photos, audio, video, and interview quotes you acquire at Big Cat Rescue, subject to these terms.
This emblem lets you know that we allow you to use any portion from this website as long as you do not alter the image or information and as long as you give credit to bigcatrescue.org as the source in an easily accessible and identifiable manner. More about that here:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
Unlike many sites that claim to be copyrighted, ours actually is protected by copyright and trademark registration. This site is thousands of pages and most of it is here for your use in your school reports, research papers and to help you learn and share the plight of exotic cats in the wild and in captivity. As long as you are using the information for non-commercial purposes and are being respectful of the animals, you can use information and photos from our site for school-related purposes without contacting us for further permission.
We used to have timestamps on the pages, but some pages are not substantially updated for years and it made the site look out of date when in fact the information was current and just had not changed. If people see an old date they may leave looking for something newer even though it probably wouldn’t be as complete as our site.
This site was first published in 1996. Most of the pages are updated in some form or another each year, so January of the existing year would be sufficient for most school reports and the source should be: Big Cat Rescue.
While our Founder, Carole Baskin does most of the web work, there are many people who contribute bits and pieces to many of the pages and many organizations we have worked with over the years to present the most comprehensive body of work possible. Since we could not possibly remember and name all of them and cannot take credit for all of it either, we really can’t post an “author” like you would of a static work, like a book.
Most of the photos are provided by our President, Jamie Veronica and usually, if someone else took the photo you will see their name on the image in the URL.
Good luck with your report!