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Big Cat Rescue

Hear lions, tigers and leopards roar at this animal sanctuary for abandoned and abused exotic big cats.

Big Cat Rescue claims to be the world’s largest accredited animal sanctuary dedicated to rescued big cats. It provides a permanent home for abused and abandoned animals, as well as retired performing cats. There are more than 100 big cats representing no fewer than a dozen species at this 45-acre (18-hectare) site. They include lions, tigers, leopards, ocelots and cougars.

Guided tours are the only way to see the animals. You are led along a winding trail to each of the cat habitats. Observe cougars at play and take photos and videos of lions stretching out in the sun. Learn about big cat behaviors and discover how the animals were rescued from cruel conditions.

There are a variety of tour options available. These include the one-hour and half-hour day tours, and the feeding tours where you watch big cats being fed by their keepers. Join the animals for dinner during the special night tour, held on the last Friday of each month. The Kids Tour on Saturday and Sunday is the only time children under the age of 10 can visit the animals. For a full list of tour types, schedules and restrictions, visit Big Cat Rescue’s official website.

For those unable to walk for long periods of time, a limited number of golf carts are available for rent.

Big Cat Rescue started in 1992 during the owners’ search for a pet bobcat. When they came across a breeder who was primarily raising the animals for fur, they bought all 56 kittens to save them from slaughter. The sanctuary’s dual mission is to provide a good home for the animals and to educate the public about the plight of big cats in the wild and in captivity.

Big Cat Rescue is open every day except Thursday, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The animal sanctuary is 15 minutes’ drive from Tampa International Airport, and approximately 75 minutes from Orlando and Walt Disney World® Resort. Parking is free.


Guide to Exploring around Big Cat Rescue


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Lodging Near Big Cat Rescue

See all 220 Hotels near Big Cat Rescue
$145
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Tampa-Anderson Rd/Veteran

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Tampa-Anderson Rd/Veteran

9402 Corporate Lake Dr, Tampa
4.1
of 5, from 380 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Tampa, this hotel is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from AirHeads Trampoline Arena and within 6 mi (10 km) of Natures Boot Camp and Westfield Citrus Park. Carrolwood Village Golf & Tennis Club - Meadows/ Pines Course and Rocky Point Golf Course are also within 6 mi (10 km).

$126
Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Tampa Airport

Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Tampa Airport

8109 Benjamin Road, Tampa
4.2
of 5, from 234 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Tampa, this hotel is 2.1 mi (3.3 km) from AirHeads Trampoline Arena and within 6 mi (10 km) of Big Cat Rescue and Lowry Park Zoo. Raymond James Stadium and Rocky Point Golf Course are also within 6 mi (10 km).

Tampa is Waiting for you !!!

Tampa is Waiting for you !!!

8741 Sheldon Creek Blvd, Tampa
5.0
of 5, from 3 reviews
0.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Tampa, this townhouse accommodation is 2.3 mi (3.7 km) from Countryway Golf Club and within 6 mi (10 km) of Big Cat Rescue and Westfield Citrus Park. Westchase Golf Course and Rocky Point Golf Course are also within 6 mi (10 km).

$105
Hampton Inn Tampa-Veterans Expwy (Airport North), FL

Hampton Inn Tampa-Veterans Expwy (Airport North), FL

5628 W Waters Ave, Tampa
4.2
of 5, from 403 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated near the airport, this hotel is 2 mi (3.1 km) from AirHeads Trampoline Arena and within 6 mi (10 km) of Big Cat Rescue and Raymond James Stadium. Lowry Park Zoo and Natures Boot Camp are also within 6 mi (10 km).

$107
Comfort Suites Tampa Airport North

Comfort Suites Tampa Airport North

5421 West Waters Ave., Tampa
4.2
of 5, from 655 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Tampa, this hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Big Cat Rescue, Lowry Park Zoo, and Raymond James Stadium. Florida Aquarium is 12 mi (19.4 km) away.

$209
Emerald Greens Hotel Condo Resort

Emerald Greens Hotel Condo Resort

13941 Clubhouse Dr, Tampa
4.7
of 5, from 262 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in the suburbs, this family-friendly villa is 4.1 mi (6.5 km) from Babe Zaharias Golf Course and 7 mi (11.3 km) from Lowry Park Zoo.

Beautifully Decorated Guest House in Odessa FL

Beautifully Decorated Guest House in Odessa FL

9232 Rhea Dr, Odessa
4.8
of 5, from 11 reviews
0.0 out of 5.0

Situated on a lake, this cottage is 2.6 mi (4.1 km) from Lake Rogers Park and within 9 mi (15 km) of Big Cat Rescue and Westfield Citrus Park. Silver Dollar Golf Club and The Eagles Golf Club are also within 9 mi (15 km).

Maison De L'eau Douce

Maison De L'eau Douce

9232 Rhea Dr, Odessa
0.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Odessa, this cottage is 2.4 mi (3.9 km) from Lake Rogers Park and within 9 mi (15 km) of Big Cat Rescue and Westfield Citrus Park. Silver Dollar Golf Club and The Eagles Golf Club are also within 9 mi (15 km).