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“Great animal show!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary

Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary
7101 Palmer Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34232
(941) 371-6377
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Ranked #20 of 126 things to do in Sarasota
Attraction details
Ephrata, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Great animal show!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2014

we enjoyed watching all the animals perform in the Big Cat & Animal extravaganza, They were great and they looked like they were having fun too. Good price for 2 hours of entertainment. They also had handicapped seating ringside for an elderly friend who came with us.

Visited February 2014
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334 reviews from our community

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4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Amazing time and see as many animals as Busch gardens for way cheaper price”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014 via mobile

We went for my dad's bday and from all ages we had a amazing time!! The show was awsome and you can really see these people are here for the animals and not the paycheck you can tell they loved these animals and the animals loved them!! The food was great the staff were all very pleasant and I can't say one thing wrong with it there is a petting zoo area exotic birds and bears tigers elephants everything id go to Busch gardens to see but 80% cheaper in price!!! Everything goes towards taking care of these animals and to see a show like that totally worth every penny!!!!!! I'd definitely say go you will not regret it!!!

Visited February 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Homestead, Florida
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Unexpected Experience”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014

I have mixed feelings about this place that I planned to visit many weeks in advance. I made it there on the Sunday afternoon of the Presidents' Day holiday weekend. I expected a light crowd of perhaps a dozen or so visitors. What I encountered instead was hundreds of visitors - so many that the main parking lot was closed (except for handicapped motorists) and parking was a good half-mile away in a lawn / dirt overflow parking area down the street (Palmer Blvd.). By the time I got to the main entrance and the ticket area it was barely 15 minutes to the 1:30 PM showtime in the big tent. I saw the long line leading in to that tent during the long walk from the overflow parking area, so I knew that there was no way that I was going to get in to that show. I spent about 2½-hours roaming around the habitat / sanctuary, and it was actually a lot of fun checking out and even hanging out with the animals. Some of the workers / volunteers there were very friendly and informative. I actually walked in to the big tent at 3 PM - 90 minutes into the show - and to my surprise it was still going on. I watched about 15 minutes of it until an overly-aggressive (I'd even say rude) worker / volunteer essentially escorted me out of the big tent for not having a ticket. I didn't realize at the time that it was a separate-ticketed event. I thought my $18 admission included the big show. In hindsight I believe that my $18 admission actually did include the big show and that the volunteer was misinformed / wrong. I thought about waiting around until the 4:30 PM show (to see if I could get in), but since it was a two-hour show I didn't feel like leaving the place at dusk after 6:30 PM. At least I got to see 15 minutes of the two-hour show. It looked like a lot of fun.

I'd visit this place again, but probably not on a weekend. I didn't realize that it was so popular. They don't seem to have a good handle on the situation when there's hundreds of visitors on-site.

Visited February 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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Sarasota, Florida, United States
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Amazed”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2014

We have been in Sarasota now for over 3 years and are kicking ourselves for not going to this place the first time we heard about it. What an awesome job the staff does with these animals. We not only walked about the property to visit each and every well kept animal dwelling but we also experienced the extravaganza show with performances by the trainers and their furry & feathery & hairy four and two legged companions. You can tell right away that this place is so much more then just an animal circus; this place is staffed by people who love and care about their animal friends and take pride in the daily task they perform. We will definitely make this a regular "Thing to do" to help support the work being done at Big Cat Habitat...

Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Mixed”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2014 via mobile

Don't bother going during the fundraiser. Somewhat disorganized and not enough seating in the tent. We ended up leaving bc we couldn't get a seat. Even tried to pay $5 extra per person for an upgraded seat but the the line wasn't moving. What they don't tell you is they close the big cat building while the show is going on so we didn't get to see the lions and tiger building. We did see a few from behind the building though. The elephants were great but someone told us they would be gone after the fundraiser (until 2/23). Overall, the animals we did see were really interesting and the sausage sandwich was terrific. For the price of admission though they need to step up their organization. I have a feeling many of the workers are volunteers doing the best they know how but it's lacking. Will go back at another time and give them another chance. I suggest you take a walk in the county park next door (Celery Fields) afterwards. It's lovely.

Visited February 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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