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“Amazing Experience”

Bear Creek Feline Center
Ranked #1 of 52 things to do in Panama City
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Bear Creek Feline Center (BCFC) is home to Florida wildcats and exotic felines located in Panama City, FL. BCFC's mission is one of conservation breeding of selected species, feline rescue/re-homing and public education designed to illuminate the plight of threatened and endangered felines. Much has happened since April 1, 2000, when BCFC was established under the giant oak trees here in the Bear Creek Community. We have logged thousands of hours to obtain five licenses and we now make permanent homes to exotic species of felines including the 3 native species of Florida. We work with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, the USDA and the Feline Conservation Federation to preserve and "Protect Florida's Wildlife Treasures". "When was the last time you touched a bobcat or an African Serval?" Tours are by Appointment only. BCFC invites you to an up close and personal visit with our Florida Panthers, North American Bobcats, African Servals, South American Geoffroy's Cats, Jaguarundis and Siberian Lynx. Cameras are encouraged. There are no additional charges for great photo opportunities. You'll see extremely rare felines, not normally seen in captivity. The FFWCC and the USDA permit some hands-on contact. Small children must be CLOSELY supervised at all times. Tours are scheduled BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes for your comfort and safety. A $50 donation per adult is customary ($25 for children under the age of 18). These donations are 100% earmarked for the care and feeding of the big cats. Special tour rates for photo ops, families and student groups upon request. BCFC offers internships whereby selected individuals may gain experience preparatory for the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission's licensing process. You may contact us by email for application and interview. You can check our website for an overview of what you can be doing and learning!
Reviewed August 26, 2013

Bear Creek was the highlight of my weekend trip to Panama City. The facility is located about 15 miles outside of Panama City and is in a semi-residential area (to Bear Creek's credit, they owned their property long before any of the surrounding houses cropped up), which at first can seem a little strange. Birdie and Jim live on sight, and everyone that works there volunteers their time. They are a 501 (c) and much of the care for these animals is paid for out-of-pocket. Tours are done on Sundays at 4pm and is a standard $20 donation per person. They have Bobcats, Florida Panthers, Iberian Lynxs, Jaguarundis, Servals, and 2 Geoffroys Cats. I believe its somewhere around 27 cats in total. You can get right up to the fences for all the cats and go in the enclosures with some of them. We layed on a blanket with 2 servals for nearly a half hour, it was incredible. The tour is at feeding time which is great to see. The bond that these people have with the cats is mind-blowing. I watched in awe as Jim layed down in the grass in the mountain lion enclosure and literally cuddled with the cat. Birdie raises all the babies in the house and has a jaguarundi that has a doggie door to come in the house whenever he pleases. They are knowledgable, friendly and clearly have a passion for these animals. The enclosures are large and well-kept. Nothing about this experience is sad or upsetting, these animals are loved and well taken care of. I would recommened this experience to anyone. It would be fine for a family, many of the volunteers had their kids there and they are allowed to go in with the animals as well. Its also my understanding that when there are cubs that you can play with them as well, although there weren't any when I was there. I will be going back to this facility anytime I'm in the Panama City area.

3  Thank law09d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (208)
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"big cats"
in 42 reviews
"wild cats"
in 16 reviews
"beautiful cats"
in 11 reviews
"once in a lifetime"
in 12 reviews
"non profit"
in 9 reviews
"florida panther"
in 9 reviews
"mountain lion"
in 7 reviews
"animal lovers"
in 7 reviews
"well taken care"
in 8 reviews
"unique experience"
in 8 reviews
"love cats"
in 5 reviews
"great hosts"
in 5 reviews
"cat person"
in 3 reviews
"down to earth"
in 3 reviews
"cat lover"
in 3 reviews
"chicken leg"
in 3 reviews
"an excellent experience"
in 3 reviews

205 - 208 of 208 reviews

Reviewed July 1, 2017 via mobile
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Thank Lucia L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jim B, Volunteer Tour Director at Bear Creek Feline Center, responded to this reviewResponded October 3, 2017

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2016
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Thank Tom K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2015
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1  Thank chago18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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