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“Beautiful Animals”

Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary
Ranked #10 of 145 things to do in Sarasota
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary provides a sanctuary "for life" for the exotic animals currently calling the sanctuary home. Our goal is to create habitats that mimic native environments and are complete with a staff that can provide daily behavioral, sensory, and manipulative enrichment which is the basis for a happy healthy animal in captivity. As we grow and open our habitat to more rescues we will provide the same excellent care while educating the public.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed November 1, 2012

This was a nice opportunity to see many tigers, lions, and bears and even some ligers up close. The goats where adorable and there where a few other animals, too. This is a smaller to medium size 'zoo' type of place for animals that where raised in captivity that cannot be placed back into the wild. My husband and I are animal lovers so I'm not really a fan of zoos (unless they are LARGE) or circuses (This family is of Circus background) but since the cats cannot go back into the wild, we decided to check it out. It was fair priced. I suggest you call ahead with questions. The time on the website was different- out of season and in season (and restrictions on kids visiting times, etc) It was enjoyable to be near the animals and see them up close, although I rather go on a saffari where they are in their natural environment! I wish the cages where bigger, and the animals had more room, and more chances to interact with each other but the care takers seem like they do the best they can.

1  Thank Maria M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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910 - 914 of 1,004 reviews

Reviewed October 21, 2012 via mobile

Interesting place...kids loved feeding bears and cats. Never heard of a liger before. Show was ok..definitely worth checking out.

Thank dolphinchicks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2012

This sanctuary is a rescue place for big cats and other animals that are in need of a safe and permanent home. All the animals seemed active, healthy and very well fed. Volunteers know the animals by name and are very affectionate towards the animals. Conservation is very important if we want these precious animals to be around for generations to come. This is why it is so important to help support organizations like the Big Cat Habitat.

The grounds were clean and everyone was really friendly. For a few dollars you can feed a big cat. There are also monkeys, goats, tortoises, macaws and small pet zoo. The admission was $15 for adults and $7 for kids. The parking is FREE and they are opened 4:30PM - 7:00PM Wednesday - Sunday. It is really worth the visit.

Thank SASSYYDAZZY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2012

I visited this place on a whim while driving down Florida's Gulf Coast for a short vacation and what I found was an experience well worth the modest small fee they charge to enter. I had actually just been to Busch Gardens on that same trip and felt like I had a much more personal and close experience with fantastic and beautiful creatures for just a few bucks compared to the hundreds I spent at Busch. This was the first time I've ever fed a bear or tiger, and they also offered feedings of friendly animals such as the cute baby goats which my woman adored. (All feedings were an extra tiny charge.) The highlight of the short two-hour visit was a circus show in which the family that runs this place took turns bringing out different animals. The gentleman presenting the show was also quite the showman. Apparently, this place is run by family with each member specializing in a different animal and they use many of their "domesticated" animals in movies and TV shows as all of them were either raised in captivity, former circus animals or abandonded exotic pets. This is the place that started my addiction to sanctuaries and rescues for exotic animals in Florida and you'll find quite a few in the Sunny State. If you are in the Sarasota area, make sure you check this place out! When I visited they were expanding the facilities and also planning on a playpen for elephants so it should be even better in the near future.

1  Thank PnMTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2012

First went here after seeing a documentary about the circus family that owns this. Remarkable family who love the animals so much they rescue circus animals and take care of them here. They give shows here as well to raise money to care for the tigers, lions, apes and other circus animals they have here.

1  Thank JacynthP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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