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.

“Up close and personal viewing”
Review of Big Cat Rescue

Big Cat Rescue
Book In Advance
More Info
$36.00*
and up
Big Cat Rescue for Kids Tour in Tampa
Ranked #4 of 196 things to do in Tampa
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Do you see yourself looking over the vast Serengeti plains, searching the horizon for a glimpse of a pride of Lions, or a Leopard lounging in the trees? Do you imagine yourself in India, riding an elephant through the high grass with your eyes peeled for the elusive Tiger? Have you ever thought how great it would be to hike through the rainforest, listening to the tropical birds, ever on the lookout for a Leopard or an Ocelot high in the canopy? Have you ever been to the zoo and wanted to be closer to the exotic cats; so close you could almost touch them? You don't have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to make these dreams come true. The world's largest accredited big cat rescue facility is right here in Tampa, Florida at Big Cat Rescue.
Ocala, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
853 reviews
152 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 255 helpful votes
“Up close and personal viewing”
Reviewed March 23, 2013

Unlike any of the "other" attractions you may attend, this one is up close and personal. A chance to see wild rescued animals being treated humanly in large cages, but treated with respect. Each group is given a guided tour, and lecture by a trained staff member while you wander around the numerous grounds. A little pricy BUT well worth the money. A gift shop where you can purchase nice things that help the mission. Photographers welcome, but leave the tri-pods at home.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Gary U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

1,512 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    1,125
    248
    91
    19
    29
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Kingston, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
66 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Incredible big cat experience!”
Reviewed March 22, 2013

Kudos to the founder; she has created an incredible sanctuary for these poor cats! Although they can never be returned to the wild they have done the best possible for their scenarios. The intern that guided our tour was excellent! The staff maintained a triangle around the tour group at all times, to ensure no one strayed to take an extra picture, which could result in an arm swinging out for that lonely fool. Being that the cats are not afraid of people, many do come right up against the front of their cages. There is a railing 3 ft away from the cage, and you are not allowed to cross that railing, AT ALL. It's an extremely safe & informative 90 min tour. The intern tells you how they obtained each & every cat there; the stories are very sad. Even if you are not a big cat fan, it is truely as experience of a lifetime!

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank rebatours
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina
Level Contributor
25 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Amazing”
Reviewed March 21, 2013

Staff was very informative, and educated me on the problems facing large cats, I highly recommend this Tour to anyone going to Tampa. It is close to the airport and easy to get to.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank TJBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
37 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Big Cat Rescue Tampa”
Reviewed March 21, 2013

They do good work rescuing big and small cats primarily from individual collectors of exotic cats. Cages/facilities for the cats were all clean which impressed me. Also one can get relatively close for viewing. Our issue was with the tour guides and staff in the parking lot: they were rude and really seemed like they wanted to be doing something else or be somewhere else versus giving tours to paid visitors. Our tour guide actually made a snide remark to me when I asked a question which irked me. So the facility was good and I believe in their mission but we won't return until the staff has an attitude adjustment.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank fromnyctofll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Eye-opening experience for those young and old”
Reviewed March 19, 2013

This organization does an amazing job of educating people on the plight of wild cats throughout the United States - bringing attention to the captive wildlife crisis very few know about. All of the animals are kept in very spacious enclosures which are cleaned on a daily basis. A nutritious daily diet is prepared for each of them - taking into account their age and medical needs. Needless to say, the animals live better than many people do!

The only downside that prevents me for rating 5 stars is the fact the tour is focused solely on the sad backgrounds of these cats which can become drowning after the fifth cat. People do need to know about the backgrounds and the issues these cats face but it would be interesting to hear more about their biology and "reasons to save" conservation facts. Other than that, a definite must see on your Tampa area visit!

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank DrWildlife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Big Cat Rescue? 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