We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great Exhibit.”

Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary
Ranked #9 of 147 things to do in Sarasota
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 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 older children, Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children
Reviewed January 24, 2013

This was a great exhibit of lions, tigers, bears and many other animals. They look beautiful with beautiful coats and they look very well fed. Don't understand how there are some comments bad mouthing this place. You will not be sorry. Never have we been able to stand so close to the bears, tigers and lions. A wonderful place for the entire family.

1  Thank Bill W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (1,027)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year

916 - 920 of 1,027 reviews

Reviewed January 24, 2013

On the day we visited they happened to be having their Animal Extravaganza fundraising event. The admission was a little higher - $18/pp - but the show made it well worth every penny. The 2 1/2 hour "big top" event was a showcase of many of the animals at the habitat, along with other visiting acts, like bareback riders, pigs, and a dog/pony show. I will say that had it not been for the show, I might have been disappointed with the visit. The habitat is not a very large place and takes only about 30-45 minutes to go through (and that's with stopping for pictures and to watch the animals play). The big cats are, of course, the highlight. Ever since watching that crazy movie Napoleon Dynamite, I've wanted to see a real liger. The Big Cat Habitat has two of these beautiful creatures - Brutus and Mia. All in all, I really enjoyed the visit and would recommend it.

To those who have an issue with concrete jungles and cages, at first I felt the same way. But bear in mind that all of these creatures once belonged to people who had them as pets, only to realize that they couldn't care for them anymore. If it were not for the Big Cat Habitat, these cats and bears most likely would have been euthanized. Knowing this, I applaud the work the Rosaire family is doing to give these animals a loving home.

2  Thank melody0115
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

This sanctuary is ran by family and volunteers, and is a chance for visitors to see how well these animals, who were all rescued, are treated and loved. There are Grizzly Bears, Black Bears, Kodiaks, Lions, Tigers, Ligers, Monkeys, Sea Turtles and more! I've visited twice, and this sanctuary is always improving the spaces available to the animals! For a small fee, you can feed a bear a hotdog on a stick, or a lion a special treat on a stick. It is not a very large sanctuary, so you can see everything in two hours, but you are welcome to stay until closing time. There is always someone near to answer your questions and they have a small concession stand to buy a soda or water if you didn't bring one yourself. It's a good place to bring small children with short attention spans because the park is fairly small. I highly recommend this park for all ages!

2  Thank Jennyj4C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2013

This small place is neither Habitat or Sanctuary. The animals are all kept in very small cages (some of them have concrete floors!). It is horrible sad to see so gorgeous animal as Siberian Tiger who should live alone on the territory of approx. 100 square miles in concrete cave of the size of our Bathroom. To be honest during our visit the caves were all clean and the animals didn't look hungry or frustrated. Probably they were born in captivity so that is the only life they know. Anyhow it is more than obvious that the owners need much more money to keep the animals properly. We do hope that the owners will get a financial support in the near future from some animal welfare organisation(s) so the tigers and lions could finally feel the grass on their paws...

23  Thank elam m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2012 via mobile

We stumbled upon this little gem. Well worth a couple of hours. The family has done an outstanding job with the animals they care for. You will never get any closer to lions, tigers, or bears! The volunteers are knowledgeable, the show is great and the cause is a good one!

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

Travelers who viewed Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary also viewed

Sarasota, Southwest Gulf Coast
Sarasota, Southwest Gulf Coast
Sarasota, Southwest Gulf Coast

Been to Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing