Yelp Reviews of Big Cat Rescue 2009 – 2011
Review from Shanna M.
Big Cat Rescue is an amazing non profit animal sanctuary that is a must see if visiting the Tampa area. While visiting, I participated in the daily tour as well as the feeding tour. Both tours are very worth while as you get to see most of the cats up close (you will not get to see the Liger- and rightfully so after you hear the story) and learn each of their stories. The tour guides truly know their stuff and seem very genuine in their love for these animals. The stories behind the cats are often very sad but you get a sense that these animals are now much better off. While it would be wonderful if all of these animals could have remained in the wild, the sanctuary is the next best place.
Review from Amy S.
Michigan City, IN4/6/2011
This rescue learned the hard way what was the right path to helping animals, and has provided a safe and engaging environment for big wild cats now for many years. Victims of ignorant breeders, idiots that chose the wrong pet, drug-dealers, and horrifying roadside attractions…. these animals deserve a place they can live their lives out happily, with proper health care and stimuli. Our tour guide, an adorable British intern, really gave valuable facts regarding the animals, as well as their personal stories of inhumane captivity and the growth they have made since their rescue. I definitely support this organization. A very responsible solution to a dangerous problem, of which most animal lovers may not be aware.
Review from Sherri C.
I took my husband to Big Cat Rescue as a surprise-(it was my first time as well) and we both LOVED it! This place blows the zoo away. Not only do you get a tour guide teaching you about the cats, but you get to see them as such close range. The cats are accustomed to human interactions, so they tend to be more interested in you, not shying away and hiding. The male lion that is housed with the white female Bengal tiger was the best part. You can hear, as well as feel the vibrations when he lets out his growl…simply amazing!
The fee to enter goes toward their foundation in providing the necessities that the animals need. Can’t wait to go back.
Review from David R.
I would give Big Cat Rescue ten stars if I could. Calling Big Cat Rescue a “zoo” is a disservice. It’s a sanctuary that rescues wild cats, whether in the wild (native Florida bobcats and panthers injured are lucky to make it here), or previously captive big cats. I get their quarterly newsletter and every issue has a heartbreaking, but ultimately uplifting, story about an exotic cat they rescued from a carnival, circus group, fur farm, drug dealer, “mall photo” operation, etc. I’ve donated to this group several times and it’s great to see so many donors listed on their newsletter.
And the tour is wonderful. $25 is pricey? Really? Knowing full well that this is a non profit organization and the tour prices go to feed and shelter these incredible creatures? Anyone complaining about the tour price here should visit the Baltimore Aquarium. Then we’ll talk.
I love cats of all shapes and sizes but anyone with an interest in animals should visit Big Cat Rescue. It’s worth the trip to Tampa just to visit this place. You’ll get closer to big cats than you would in any zoo–and the cats are clearly treated with tender loving care. The bobcat and lynx area allows you to actually touch and pet those smaller wild cats. Their behavior will remind you of your own pet cat.
Why anyone would give Big Cat Resue less than five stars is beyond me. Yes, the animals are in cages, but what do you expect? For them to run wild? These are animals that were rescued from utterly dire situations. Any cat that makes it to Big Cat Resue is a lucky cat.
Review from Gregory C.
Big Cat Rescue is another must see if you are visiting the Tampa area. Where else can you get a really close up view of a wide variety of wild cats. It’s awesome. Ok, I will admit, I may be a litle biased towards my feline friends, but you should check it out for yourself.
This sanctuary is run by deadicated people who take care of wild cats that have mostly been abandond by people who thought these cats could actually be pets. Other big cats have been rescued from abusive situations.
While they were all really cool, a few stand out because of their stories. One cool little desert/sand cat was rescued in Iraq. This little guy is like Napoleon on speed. Then there was one of the largest lionesses I have ever seen. She was used by drug dealers to protect their crap. Unfortunately, because she was chained up for so long, this beautiful cat can’t fully enjoy the use of those extra long legs. Also, unforgetable was a massive male tiger who was kept in small confines while he was growing up, which left his legs shorter than normal. Now he looks like solid little/big tank with those short legs on a huge body. He apparently was depressed for a very long time, but his female tigress he was paired with finally brought him out of depression.
There is quite a lot to see, and our guide was great. Recommend you go when the weather in Florida is nicest…from November through April.
Review from Pinky and the B.
New York, NY
Big Cat Rescue, a non profit educational sanctuary, is devoted to
rescuing and providing a permanent home for exotic (i.e. wild, not
domestic) cats who have been abused, abandoned, bred to be pets,
retired from performing acts, or saved from being slaughtered for fur
coats, and to educating the public about these animals and the issues
facing them in captivity and in the wild.
The sanctuary is home to the most diverse population of exotic cats in
the world, with 16 species and subspecies of wild cat represented
among more than 100 residents. These include tigers, lions, liger,
leopards, cougars, bobcats, lynx, ocelots, servals, caracals and
others, many of whom are threatened, endangered, or now extinct in the
They have tours of all kinds.
I was a member for many years until I became unemployed but still
support their cause and believe in them.
I hope when you are in the area you will go and check it out and help
them as well as learn about big cats. There are volunteer
opportunities and I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a
volunteer opportunity working with animals. As you can tell in my
pictures I was able to get up close and personal with them. I got even
closer but I don’t have those pictures available.
Listed in: Take some risks-
Review from tom n.
Purrr-fect! I had my wedding at BCR in December, for a “different” kind of wedding it was great. They charge $200 + $35pp for a one-hour tour (normally $50). My wife and I felt great knowing we weren’t just giving our money to some hall.
We got married on their beach right by the tigers and visited by pea cocks and guinea fowl. They provided benches and a golf cart with driver for those who couldn’t walk the hour tour. We were even given a special gift by Sherry, the wedding coordinator.
All the staff is super knowledgeable and friendly. More important they really care about the cats, they accept no government money (that comes with govt rules), they won’t sell cats even when offered tons of money for them, and they don’t compromise care – just textbook integrity there.
We loved it – GO!
P.S. The only reason I say not for kids is that they wont allow very small kids in, check with them if you have little ones.
Review from Allyson L.
La Mesa, CA1/4/2011
On a recent trip to Tampa i made it a priority to visit the Big Cat Rescue. I opted for the Feeder Tour, which was amazing. There were only 4 of us on the tour, which started at 4:30 pm. This was an ideal time, twilight, to see many of the cats being frisky, vocal and active.
We had a tour guide informing us about all the cats on our feeding route for the evening. He was incredibly friendly, engaging and it was apparent that he had some close bonds with several of the animals. We had the feeder alongside us depositing chicken legs, dead mice and chicks and cat chow into the enclosures while our guide was telling us stories about how each of the cats came to the Rescue.
I’ve read negative reviews on other sources about how this place is no better than a zoo and that animals shouldn’t be caged up. Considering that all of these amazing cats were rescues, whether it be from fur farms, circus acts, apartment pets, etc..the Rescue is a wonderful place were it was very apparent each cat gets plenty of attention and love. It is sad that these cats have become domesticated in some respects, but it’s also heart warming to know that the ones living at the Rescue now have a place to call home for the rest of their lives without living in fear or abandonment.
I’d highly recommend any tour or visit to the Rescue. The staff is really informative, have awesome stories, and really capture the spirit of cat lovers, big and small.
Review from Kristina R.
I found the site for Big Cat Rescue when I was doing some research on Leopards Etc.
Even though my Principal said a big, fat “NO” to a wild animal assembly, I still wanted to know if it was kosher, and to make sure they weren’t exploiting or abusing their cats in any way.
The Big Cats site was extremely informative, answered every question I had, and also opened my eyes to a serious problem that needs to be addressed…the infestation of stupid people.
Carole Baskin and her amazing organization, Big Cat Rescue, tries to educate the public on the abuses endured by large cats that are sold at exotic animal auctions as pets for stupid people.
They are located on 45 acres of land that is made available to any and all animals that have been abused or have needed rescuing from the clutches of evil stupid people everywhere.
They raise donations to pay for the care for the cats, and always provide them with the best medical and nutritional care. Organizations like Big Cat Rescue guarantee these incredible animals will never be touched by stupid people again.
It never ceases to amaze me how stupid people manage to survive without constant supervision and/or imprisonment.
Stupid people who exploit these beautiful cats for profit are seriously brain damaged. They purchase cubs because they’re cute…but after about 40 pounds or so, they aren’t as cute as they are dangerous. Then, the stupids think the cats are disposable, and try to unload them in any way they can think of with those stupid little brains of theirs.
Really, if you know someone who is stupid enough to buy a wild animal cub and try to keep it in their backyard, please contact: https://Stupidpeopleres….
Your contribution will provide a big area surrounded by soft things so they don’t hurt themselves. It will also be soundproofed, so I won’t have to hear their idiotic banter.
Review from amy a.
This place was really cool and different. And you get to be so close to these amazing creatures. All of the animals were rescued, mostly from people who were keeping them as pets (yea, not so smart).
The staff is very well informed. Although I am a Veterinary Technician and had a lot of questions they didn’t know the answers to. I didn’t think asking what vaccines they get would be all that difficult a question….
All the cats seem comfortable and well taken care of, and they all have their own personalities that you get so sometimes see right before your eyes.
Review from Virginia G.
Saint Petersburg, FL3/30/2010
I have great respect for this place. THe people that work and run the place really do care. Yes, they have made mistakes in their growing process but they took incidents into consideration and made improvements. Never has an animal been intentionally mistreated here. I support them 100% and wish I had the heart to visit or help more, but I’m such an animal lover the stories just kill me.
Review from scott h.
San Francisco, CA5/27/2009
For $25.00 you’ll never look at a lion, tiger, bobcat, white tiger, panther, or kittycat the same way. The Big Cat Rescue will educate you, inspire you, sadden you, and make you smile. I can’t thank the staff and volunteers at BCR enough for a fantastic afternoon.
Please spend 90 minutes standing beside these beautiful creatures. You’ll be talking about it for a long time.
Review from Steve C.
Please visit this wonderful wonderful place. You’ll meet and support tigers, lions, leopards, cougars, cervals & so many more of all different ages, and hear stories of their near loss as an outgrown pet, a photographic subject only while young and cute, a rescue from the taxidermy table or an abusive owner, and see with your own eyes how happy they are to be safe and well-cared-for in large pens, socializing and playing and being as free as they can be. A great gift shop with everything from cool tiger print underwear and clothing to cast lion footprints will enable you to further support these wonderful creatures and bring home cool stuff to remember it all by. Help feed, volunteer, take pictures, there are a thousand ways to participate!