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Big Cat Rescue

Hear lions, tigers and leopards roar at this animal sanctuary for abandoned and abused exotic big cats.

Big Cat Rescue claims to be the world’s largest accredited animal sanctuary dedicated to rescued big cats. It provides a permanent home for abused and abandoned animals, as well as retired performing cats. There are more than 100 big cats representing no fewer than a dozen species at this 45-acre (18-hectare) site. They include lions, tigers, leopards, ocelots and cougars.

Guided tours are the only way to see the animals. You are led along a winding trail to each of the cat habitats. Observe cougars at play and take photos and videos of lions stretching out in the sun. Learn about big cat behaviors and discover how the animals were rescued from cruel conditions.

There are a variety of tour options available. These include the one-hour and half-hour day tours, and the feeding tours where you watch big cats being fed by their keepers. Join the animals for dinner during the special night tour, held on the last Friday of each month. The Kids Tour on Saturday and Sunday is the only time children under the age of 10 can visit the animals. For a full list of tour types, schedules and restrictions, visit Big Cat Rescue’s official website.

For those unable to walk for long periods of time, a limited number of golf carts are available for rent.

Big Cat Rescue started in 1992 during the owners’ search for a pet bobcat. When they came across a breeder who was primarily raising the animals for fur, they bought all 56 kittens to save them from slaughter. The sanctuary’s dual mission is to provide a good home for the animals and to educate the public about the plight of big cats in the wild and in captivity.

Big Cat Rescue is open every day except Thursday, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The animal sanctuary is 15 minutes’ drive from Tampa International Airport, and approximately 75 minutes from Orlando and Walt Disney World® Resort. Parking is free.


Guide to Exploring around Big Cat Rescue


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Courtyard by Marriott Tampa Northwest/Veterans Expressway $99
Courtyard by Marriott Tampa Northwest/Veterans Expressway

Courtyard by Marriott Tampa Northwest/Veterans Expressway

12730 Citrus Park Lane, Tampa, FL
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in Tampa, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Westfield Citrus Park and Big Cat Rescue. Tampa Bay is 2.7 mi (4.3 km) away.

    Large Family Retreatheated Pool & Hot Tubmini Golfincredible Game Room
    Large Family Retreatheated Pool & Hot Tubmini Golfincredible Game Room

    Large Family Retreatheated Pool & Hot Tubmini Golfincredible Game Room

    Tampa, Florida
       
      0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly Tampa vacation home is located by the ocean, within 3 mi (5 km) of Big Cat Rescue and Westfield Citrus Park. Tampa Bay and Lake Rogers Park are also within 6 mi (10 km).

      Florida Get Away Home! Close to the Airport!
      Florida Get Away Home! Close to the Airport!

      Florida Get Away Home! Close to the Airport!

      Tampa, Florida
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        This family-friendly Tampa vacation home is within 2 mi (3 km) of Big Cat Rescue and Westfield Citrus Park. Tampa Bay and Lake Rogers Park are also within 6 mi (10 km).

        Relaxing Vacation Home in Logan Gate Village
        Relaxing Vacation Home in Logan Gate Village

        Relaxing Vacation Home in Logan Gate Village

        Tampa, Florida
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          This family-friendly Tampa vacation home is within 3 mi (5 km) of Tampa Bay and Big Cat Rescue. Westfield Citrus Park is 2.1 mi (3.3 km) away.

          Nice and Quite Vacation Home
          Nice and Quite Vacation Home

          Nice and Quite Vacation Home

          Tampa, Florida
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Tampa, this vacation home is 1.8 mi (2.9 km) from Tampa Bay and 2.1 mi (3.3 km) from Big Cat Rescue. Westfield Citrus Park is 2.1 mi (3.3 km) away.

            Spacious & Elegant Ace Location Family Ready
            Spacious & Elegant Ace Location Family Ready

            Spacious & Elegant Ace Location Family Ready

            Tampa, Florida
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Tampa, this vacation home is 1.6 mi (2.5 km) from Tampa Bay and 2.2 mi (3.6 km) from Big Cat Rescue. Westfield Citrus Park is 2.2 mi (3.6 km) away.

              Tampa's Nautical In-law Suite Studio
              Tampa's Nautical In-law Suite Studio

              Tampa's Nautical In-law Suite Studio

              Tampa, Florida
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Tampa, this apartment building is 2.8 mi (4.5 km) from Tampa Bay and within 6 mi (10 km) of Big Cat Rescue and Westfield Citrus Park. Brooker Creek Headwaters Nature Preserve and Lake Rogers Park are also within 6 mi (10 km).

                Conveniently Located Pool Home w/ Free Wifi & Vaulted Ceiling
                Conveniently Located Pool Home w/ Free Wifi & Vaulted Ceiling

                Conveniently Located Pool Home w/ Free Wifi & Vaulted Ceiling

                Tampa, Florida
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Tampa, this family-friendly vacation home is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Tampa Bay, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Big Cat Rescue and Westfield Citrus Park. Countryway Golf Club and Westchase Golf Course are also within 6 mi (10 km).