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“Applaud them for their conservation...but not much of an attraction.”

International Exotic Animal Sanctuary
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Boyd
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Reviewed July 22, 2010

It is very good the work they are doing. So I look at it as I donated to their cause. But most animals couldn't be seen at all. And the ones that were out we weren't allowed to stop at because it might anger them. It is a one time thing for me.

1  Thank whimsicalminis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 14, 2010

My husband and I have been here several times over the years; we always bring out of town guests because it is not only a spectacular tour, but we like to support their efforts. Although many of the animals come with sad stories, it is wonderful to see how happy they are now (most of them anyway...). You will get much closer to the animals than you will at a zoo, and you will come away with a better feeling about captive animals than you might at a zoo. Here, the animals are given as much attention as they wish, never go hungry, and are respected as the wild creatures that they are. That's not to say that you won't occasionally see an owner inside the enclosure of the pet that they are boarding; not all animals were abandoned or seized. These are magnificent animals and it is well worth the drive to see them and to support this worthy cause.

5  Thank catfest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2009

What a treasure in Rhome, TX! These folks are all about the animals and their well-being. This sanctuary offers a wonderful tour. My family of 6 was guided by Chrissy, an intern, for over an hour. She was so knowledgeable about the animals, and took the time to answer our many many questions. We most appreciated how the sanctuary is run, its mission, and especially how content the big cats are. This is worth the trip from Fort Worth or Dallas as a half day trip!

Thank JWestcott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 18, 2008

The Exotic Feline Sanctuary in Boyd Texas is a truly unique experience for every true wild animal lover out there, but definitely not for litlte kids.

Founded in 1988 in the vast expanse of nothingness that West Texas prides itself on, the Sanctuary gives a permanent retirement home for abused and abandoned wild cats, including bobcats, cougars, jaguars, servals, leopards, lions, tigers, and even bears (oh my!). These gorgeous creatures are given fairly spacious environments and balanced diets as well as medical attention and careful study by wildlife interns and conservationists.

Each of the current 67 feline residents have an interesting name and a story (usually sad) about how they came to sanctuary. A few are retirees, but most were the abandoned pet of some incredibly stupid black market buyer who thought it would be cool to raise a Siberian Tiger in their apartment (yes, that really does happen). Some were rescued from hurricane Ike and Katrina (remember the newstory of the Lion housed in the Baptist Church in Crystal Beach on Bolivar Peninsula during IKE? The waters rose too fast for the owner to get Shackle off the island. He waded through the pre-hurricane surge and got the lion to the church just before the hurricane hit. That mini-zoo was wiped off the map, so now Shackle lives in Boyd).

The cats have AAZK approved cages (seriously reinforced according to their strength and jumping power). And you cannot get closer than 6 feet to the cage. But otherwise, they are staring right at you from a few feet away.

Tours are given by the interns on a reservation basis only. The fascinating tour includes the kitchens with the feeding / medication calendars (with the # of tons of meat per kitty) , and the walkable area. The sanctuary is actually huge, but many of the acres are restricted for complete solitude for the bears, who need the wider range and for temporary lodgers.

Tours focus on conservation and wild behavior (theirs, and especially yours around them). This is their home, so it is the humans that have to modify their behavior around the wild animals (no crouching, no running, no hats, no waving arms, no pets, no kids under 7, etc). If you agitate a kitty, it is you that gets tossed, not them. All of these restrictions actually enhance the tour, because it reinforces the wildness of these creatures and helps you understand that they are not simply a pretty photo op as the zoos make them seem.

A $20 per person donation is requested, but once you find out how much the kitties eat, you probably might consider donating more.

This sanctuary is one of the precious few feline conservation areas in the World and Texans should feel very proud that it is in our back yard.

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

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