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“Awesome Time! for ALL ages!”

Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary
Ranked #9 of 144 things to do in Sarasota
Certificate of Excellence
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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 March 4, 2014

I am so glad friends told us about this. What an opportunity. This is a refuse for animals and they put on a circus type show one month a year ( I am assuming this is every year!!??) as a fundraiser. Be sure to plan to spend the day here though. We had something to do that evening and couldn't stay for the entire show~! Beautiful little 5 year old girl sang the National Anthem and the show was just, AMAZING!!! You can go even when they do not have a show, but I am not sure of the details. The fundraiser show was $18. So worth it!!!!

Thank kaye f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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783 - 787 of 988 reviews

Reviewed February 27, 2014

We went about a year ago and were so thrilled with the show & interaction between humans and animals. I got to feed a couple of bears which was an awesome experience. I loved the majesty of the big cats, especially getting to see the ligers. There are plenty of other animals there, including some very entertaining birds. We are planning a trip back soon. I was mesmerized by all the animals and the love the people that work there have for them. Keep up the good work. My advice would be to get there a few minutes before they open, so you don't miss any of the show. They have limited hours and it takes the entire time they are open to see everything.

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

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

1  Thank Ljs223
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

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

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