- $25 for a 90-minute guided tour through Big Cat Rescue
- Get an up close look at tigers, cougars, jaguars, leopards, lions, and more
- Support a wonderful cause
- Meets sanctuary standards
- View tour schedule
- Convenient location
- Must be at least 10 years old.
- Closed Thursdays and Sundays.
TripAdvisors rate Big Cat Rescue as the second best attraction in Tampa, giving it an average of 4.5-owl eyes: > * What the folks at Big Cat Rescue do is incredible. They take cats from bad situations and give them large, natural enclosures. The cats all seem so comfortable. – MeredithandJoe > * The tour guide was delightful, her tag-along intern/student was just as awesome! The stories of how these majestic cats became residents at this rescue center were simply astounding… – JEANIEKEVIN
Big Cat Rescue
Founder Carole Baskin never dreamt she'd one day oversee a 55-acre sanctuary inhabited by some of Earth's largest cats. In 1992, she and her late husband were at an exotic-animal auction seeking out llamas for their farm. A man had a 6-month-old bobcat that he could no longer care for, and the pair decided to give it a place to call home. They then traveled to a bobcat breeder for another playmate, but upon seeing the horrible conditions the animals were kept in, they bought all 56 kittens. They rehabilitated them back to health, and gave them permanent homes on their then-40-acre site. Soon, word of her knack for nurturing spread beyond the Tampa area, and callers began donating abandoned or orphaned cats. Her mission to save these animals also reached the ears and hearts of many celebrities, including contributors Harrison Ford and Bo Derek.
After 20 years of hard work and learning, Carole is still caring for abused and abandoned big cats at her rescue site, accommodating more than 100 medium and large creatures from bengal tigers and black leopards to lynx and lions. Her staff of volunteers helps care for the animals and leads groups in tours that educate visitors on the plight of these animals both in the wild and in captivity.