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Big Cat Rescue is NOT open for tours so visit us virtually

Click for google map link to Big Cat Rescue

Due to the double punch of COVID-19 and the negative impact from Tiger King, Big Cat Rescue closed to the public on March 15, 2020.  There are many ways to see the cats however as we have dozens of LIVE web cams at and we go LIVE daily on and we go LIVE weekly on

Big Cat Rescue is located in sunny, Tampa, Florida on the central West coast.   We are 15 minutes from Tampa International Airport and 25 minutes from the St. Petersburg Municipal Airport.  We are approximately one hour and 15 minutes from Orlando and Disney World and are only 9 miles from Busch Gardens.  People tell us all the time that they had more fun here than at either of the before mentioned attractions.   Most people who have visited here say it is the “best time we ever had!”

We are within walking distance of Florida’s largest and newest mall, called the Citrus Park Westfield Shopping Center and are one half mile from good restaurants, like Olive Garden, Chili’s, Smokey Bones and Longhorn.  We are 10 minutes from Ben T. Davis Beach on the bay and are 45 minutes from the world renown Clearwater and St. Pete Beaches.

Getting here just got easier!  Howard Baskin, our Advisory Board Chairman was successful in purr-sueding the county to erect 5 green directional signs directing visitors to Big Cat Rescue.  Now the tours can start on time because you will be able to find us much more easily.

Thanks to Dennis Mitchell, Big Cat Rescue finally has a sign at the entrance on Citrus Park Drive!  Seeing the need, Hero Level Denny took it upon himself to negotiate with TECO and Smokey Bones to allow us to post a sign on their property.

Now tour guests can find us more easily and we will have the benefit of all the exposure to drive by traffic from the mall.  Be sure and say thanks Susan and Denny Mitchell for donating the cost of the sign and for getting it done.

From I-275 in Tampa, get off on the Busch Boulevard exit and go West (away from Busch Gardens) 9 miles.  Busch Blvd. will become Gunn Highway.

After you pass under the big green overpass of the Veteran’s Expressway you will see a McDonald’s on the left.  We are the little dirt road, just the other side of McDonald’s on the South side of the road.  You will have to pass us and make a U-turn to access Easy Street as there is no cut through.

From Tampa International Airport:  Take Veteran’s Expressway north, exit at Gunn and go left.

You will see the new walking bridge and immediately on your left you will see a McDonalds. Easy Street is a dirt road on the left just past the McDonalds.

However, there is no cut in the median. So proceed west past Easy Street to the cut at the Ross Shopping Center, do a U turn, then turn right onto Easy Street. It is immediately past the Smokey Bones Restaurant. You will see the sign with three cat faces.

Go SLOWLY, like 15mph, on Easy Street due to potholes (and neighbors who get upset). Go the very end where you will see a large gate.

From Orlando- Kissimmee St. Cloud take I-4 West toward Tampa.  1-4 will dead end into I-275, go North on I-275 and then follow directions above for 1-275.


GPS: Lat:28.061125 Long:-82.571387

We are located at 12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625

How to Get to Big Cat Rescue



Closest hotel:

Courtyard Marriott is right outside our front gate.

For bus schedules see Hartline’s Rapid Transit System.

For Tampa Weather go to:


For a taste of our local flavour, check out cool things to do while you are here at:  Our Partners or and

If you are traveling with pets, you cannot bring them onto the property.  Florida law (and common sense) prohibit you from leaving them in your car, even with the A/C running.


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This post currently has 11 responses.

    • LaWanna Mitchell

      May 25, 2012 at 12:45 pm

      We can each be a voice. Check out to see how easy it is to add your voice to make a difference.

  1. Nikki Baker

    May 26, 2012 at 4:49 am

    I do what I can I just rescued 3 dog from a puppy-mill all but one has been placed in a new home the one that I have still will never be able to be placed in a new for ever home there has been to much damage done to her I have photos of her and some of the other rescues on here.

  2. Ron Oetting

    September 5, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    I volunteer at the Black Pine Animal Sanctuary in Albion, Indiana, and have an ardent respect for big cats. I'm hoping to come to Tampa someday just to see this extraordinary 'big cat' facility! It's gotta be an awesome experience!

  3. Amy Richman

    September 25, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    I volunteer with The Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone, MN and can't WAIT to come visit you next week when I'm in Florida! Very excited to see how another sanctuary does things… and to see the KITTIES, of course *meow*.

  4. Jim Jeffery

    October 10, 2012 at 4:46 am

    I volunteered at Tippi Hedron's Shambala for several years. Built enclosures…worked with the young. Really miss it, but we now live in West Melbourne. Plan on visiting weekend of Oct 20/21. See ya!

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