Field Trips

Education Director Willow Hecht

Field Trips & Rates

These rates and policies apply to schools and scout groups. For all other groups tours including home-school groups, please visit our Group Tour page for prices and policies.
Summer Campers at Big Cat RescuePolicies

One hour walking tour.
For school groups and scouts.
Minimum of 10, maximum of 60 people on one day.
Minimum age is 10 years old/5th grade.
No field trips on weekends.
Must arrive 30 minutes prior to tour.


Adults $36 includes chaperones & additional teachers
Children $19
Teachers ​one free per every 20 students

Booking Schedule

M, T, W, & F Anytime between 10am and 1:30pm

To book a Field Trip contact our Director of Outreach:

Jennifer Leon 813 393-6066


Big Cat Rescue offers Field Trips for schools and Group Tours for non school groups that may include children.

Education Program

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” -Gandhi-

Key Benefits

Up close and hands on learning with artifacts.  We never allow contact with the cats.

Available on site or at your location.

Fees go directly to the supporting the animals and ending the trade.


On-site Educational Tours

Summer Campers at Big Cat RescueOn-site educational programs focus on a 1 hour walking tour of the sanctuary where the children learn about the exotic animals that live at Big Cat Rescue and conservation of the animals in the wild. Children can see more than a dozen species of cat and other animals standing only 4 to 6 feet away in many cases. Many children automatically react in disbelief to the enormous size of the tigers when they experience them up-close.

Children learn how tigers are ambush hunters and stalk their prey in the jungles of India and how tigers are endangered in their native habitats and what steps they can take at home to help the plight of all endangered animals such as recycling and conserving water and energy.

Children also get to hear the reasons that some of the cats are at Big Cat Rescue. For example the fact that all of our cougars were exotic pets before they grew too big and became too dangerous to be a pet. Through these stories children learn that wild animals don’t make good pets.

During on-site tours children also learn about zoo keeping and how the animals are taken care of. During the tour some of the animals may be given approved treats by the guide and the animal enrichment program is explained.


Outreach Educational Programs

Outreach educational programs focus on a presentation in a classroom where children learn about the exotic animals that live at Big Cat Rescue and conservation of the animals in the wild. Children see photos of many species of cat and other animal either through a slide show or by viewing a photo board. Children learn the same things about the animals but in a classroom setting instead of at the sanctuary.

Since the children don’t get to see the tigers, a different approach has to be taken to grab their attention. At the beginning of the session the children are told that at the end of the program there will be a trivia game with prizes awarded for correct answers. This helps to keep the children’s attention. Big Cat bookmarks are handed out as prizes for correct answers to trivia questions such as, ‘What is a group of lions called?’

To grab the children’s attention a few props are also used in the outreach including a large plastic ball that was a lion’s toy. The ball has tooth marks in it and during the talk about lions the ball is passed around for students to hold and touch. Professionally treated skulls and pelts from a cougar and clouded leopard are also available. A plaster cast of a tiger footprint is also used so that the children can compare their hand size to the tiger’s foot size.

Programs last from 20 minutes to 1 hour depending on the needs of the school or program participating in the outreach. We also have a lion Mascot costume that is available to visit community events. Call for prices on all of our educational tours and outreach events.

Outreach Prices
Small up to 75 $65.00
Large 75 + $95.00

Director of Outreach:

Jennifer Leon 813 393-6066


Ask for us on School Tube!

Most schools do not allow YouTube, but they do allow School Tube, which is a subset of YouTube that has been hand chosen to be kid safe and kid friendly.  Big Cat Rescue is a School Tube Partner.  We have more than 400 fun videos that are educational and entertaining.  Be sure to look for us at


Birthday Parties

Ask about birthday parties at Big Cat Rescue.  It’s a roaring good time!


Director of Outreach:

Jennifer Leon 813 393-6066

Animal Ambassador

Sadly, many people who call us for an outreach program asks that we bring a cat and 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.

The people sell themselves as rescuers and as being involved in conservation, when all of the money you pay them really goes into their own pockets. Many of them work under the guise of non profits, 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, then will dump the cats when they refuse to work and 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 no where for them to go.

Please do not add to this problem by paying people to bring big cats out on a leash. It is demeaning to the cat 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.

Director of Outreach:

Jennifer Leon 813 393-6066


Group Tours Other Than Schools

If you would like a group tour, for 10 or more people, but you are not a school check out these options at Group Rates.


What can kids do for the animals?


Be kind to animals.

Make sure your friends are too.

Report animal abuse.

Learn about animals so you can be their voice.

Write your congressman. We make it easy at

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. Download Flier

Never pay someone to touch a baby tiger or take your picture with one.

Don’t let people bring wild animals to your school. They aren’t props!

Recycle ink cartridges and cell phones at

Do a fundraiser for the big cats by selling magazines at

Members of The Golden Palette complete renovation of Big Cat Rescue's E Center (Education, Events & Enrichment)
Click Here To Read About Artists

Or you can wash cars, mow yards, walk the neighbor’s dogs or have a yard or bake sale. Party Ideas.

Instead of gifts for birthdays or holidays, ask your friends to help you help a cat.  See some kids who did HERE

Do a zoo check to find out if your zoo is dumping animals when the next babies come.

Ask to see where the animals are kept when the zoo isn’t open. Most of these animals spend half their lives shut in small cells.

Try making fewer of your meals out of dead animals. Soy is protein from plants and better for you anyway. Go Veg!

Pick up litter. Lots of wild animals are killed 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.

Micro chip your pets so they can always find their way home.


Web site facts for school reports regarding copy right 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 100 big cats, including tigers, lions, panthers, leopards, and bobcats.

It is Big Cat Rescue’s dual mission to provide (1) the best possible care we can for the cats at our sanctuary and (2) to educate the public about the plight of big cats both in captivity and in the wild. It is our goal to end abuse of big cats and to avoid extinction of exotic 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 private ownership, 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. 


Creative Commons License 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 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 copy right and trademark registration.  This site is 7500 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 time stamps 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!


Great American Teach In

The Education Department at Big Cat Rescue enjoyed a very busy month in November.  In addition to all the other events, tours and outreaches, we participated in the Great American Teach In.  This is an annual event sponsored by the public school system.  It’s a special opportunity to visit schools and share knowledge with a new generation of youngsters.

With the generous help of our dedicated volunteers the Education Department visited several schools during the 2007 Great AmericanTeach-In.  As a part of this effort several elementary schools and middle schools were introduced to our Big Cat Rescue mission.  Students in addition to adults were taught about our sanctuary, the needs of our cats and the need to conserve their habitats in the wild.

Some students had already taken a tour of Big Cat Rescue.  Hopefully those newly introduced to the sanctuary will ask their parents and teachers to pay us a visit.  The Great American Teach In provided an opportunity to educate others on various ways they can assist Big Cat Rescue and help the cats.


Awards for Educational Excellence

Big Cat Rescue is the proud recipient of the edHelper Honor Roll. For more educational resources, click on the banner.

Big Cat Rescue just keeps winning awards for academic excellence. Hear what Study Web had to say about us “Your website, has been selected as a featured site in Lightspan’s StudyWeb® as one of the best educational resources on the Web by our researchers. StudyWeb® is one of the Internet’s premier sites for educational resources for students and teachers. Since 1996, our expert reviewers have scoured the Internet to select only the finest sites to be included in StudyWeb’s listing of educational links.





  1. Paula Koble
    September 14, 2014 @ 3:28 pm

    they are in Tampa Florida. you can find their website and all information online

  2. Alice O'Rielly-Tobin
    July 7, 2014 @ 3:23 pm

    Tigers are my absolute favorite animal in the world, I love them because they are the most beautiful and majestic <3 <3 <3 I am in Newfoundland, Canada, what location is Big Cat Resue in? We are planning a vacation and I would love to make a visit to Big Cat Resue a part of it? What city and directions please and Thank you

  3. Lindsay
    July 16, 2011 @ 6:48 pm

    I am glad you do so much for these animals and take good care of them but I do have a bit of an issue with the following comment:

    “Try making fewer of your meals out of dead animals. Soy is protein from plants and better for you anyway. Go Veg!”

    This to me is out of context with a rescue who feeds 100’s of pounds of meat (dead animals) to their cats every month, which are raised up and slaughter for these animals consumption. I do not begrudge the fact that cats eat meat, and I do not think it’s a good idea to push a personal agenda to go vegan. Not all people can survive on plant matter and it takes more plant matter per pound to fill you up and provide the nutrition you need. Soy has also been recently proven to not be as good for you as first thought.

    I would suggest rewording that comment to something like this: Try to make most of the meat/dairy you eat come from local and free range farms that take good care of their livestock and promote this as well”.


    • BCR
      July 16, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

      The cats are pure carnivores have no choice but humans do. There is plenty of scientific evidence that supports the fact that a vegan diet is healthier than one that includes animal products and there are lots of sources of protein in plants other than soy. When you get to the bottom of most “studies” that indicate a need for animal products you will find they were paid for by the meat and dairy industries. I became a vegetarian, not because of animal activists’ agendas, but because it was a way to conserve the most water. It’s good for you, saves animals from suffering and saves the planet.

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