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“Love it!”

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: Wheelchair access, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase, Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children
Reviewed May 29, 2013

Have you ever hugged an Emu? Here's your chance! This is a great experience for adults and children. It's intimate and really fun. Some people complain about the $15 cost, but that money doesn't even begin to pay for all the food the big cats eat. Enjoy the experience and know that you are helping rescued animals at the same time! I love it!

Thank Bonnie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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878 - 882 of 1,027 reviews

Reviewed May 17, 2013

The ticket price seems a bit high but I realize that it must cost a lot to take care of the animals. You can get up close without being eaten.

Thank JLC54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2013

This is owned by a family that trained circus animals and are keeping their retired animals in a safe environment along with rescued animals they take in. The animals look very healthy but I wish they could afford some larger open spaces for their big cats. The cats in their generous cages switch out to the open area on a rotating basis. They have other animals as well and birds. We enjoyed the variety of animals and take heart that someone cares enough to look after them. We wish that the private ownership of wild animals as "pets" was outlawed and thank the family for trying to make a dent in those that are abandoned across the country.

Thank R C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2013

Actually, all of the above. At $15 per person admission (plus $1 charge for using a credit card), when we first did the "walk through" we said..........HUGE rip off. Emu's, turtles, camels, goats?? But, yes there are at least a half dozen bears..........mostly sleeping when we got there at opening time. And, lots of big cats. Obviously the big cats are the draw...........kept in rather small cages, but they do rotate them outside, I was told, 2-3 times daily. They do look healthy and well cared for. If it had just been the zoo part, we would have left very disappointed. But, at 2pm, they have a show, where they showcase the chimp, and several of the big cats.
Impressive as trainers..........a bit stuck on themselves...........on their soapbox re: animal rights vs animal welfare..........but, it was a decent show. Very tacky to do a collection during the show.......after a rather steep admission charge!! Would we go back? No. But, worth seeing once.

Definitely a work in progress. Lots of room to expand.......and, I imagine they will with funding.

4  Thank Dan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2013 via mobile

After visiting the Big Cat Habitat you will never want to visit a Zoo again. Let's face it the only real attractions at the zoo are the lions tigers and bears. Most of the time you get to see one maybe 20 to 30 yards away and half the time there hiding or half dead. Imagine seeing one of God's most awesome creatures at only two to three feet away. So close you can literally feed them. No really, for $3.00 you can feed an 800 pound lion. Incredible expeeience.

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

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