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.

“Excellent Experience”

Bear Creek Feline Center
Ranked #1 of 52 things to do in Panama City
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Bear Creek Feline Center (BCFC) is home to Florida wildcats and exotic felines located in Panama City, FL. BCFC's mission is one of conservation breeding of selected species, feline rescue/re-homing and public education designed to illuminate the plight of threatened and endangered felines. Much has happened since April 1, 2000, when BCFC was established under the giant oak trees here in the Bear Creek Community. We have logged thousands of hours to obtain five licenses and we now make permanent homes to exotic species of felines including the 3 native species of Florida. We work with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, the USDA and the Feline Conservation Federation to preserve and "Protect Florida's Wildlife Treasures". "When was the last time you touched a bobcat or an African Serval?" Tours are by Appointment only. BCFC invites you to an up close and personal visit with our Florida Panthers, North American Bobcats, African Servals, South American Geoffroy's Cats, Jaguarundis and Siberian Lynx. Cameras are encouraged. There are no additional charges for great photo opportunities. You'll see extremely rare felines, not normally seen in captivity. The FFWCC and the USDA permit some hands-on contact. Small children must be CLOSELY supervised at all times. Tours are scheduled BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes for your comfort and safety. A $50 donation per adult is customary ($25 for children under the age of 18). These donations are 100% earmarked for the care and feeding of the big cats. Special tour rates for photo ops, families and student groups upon request. BCFC offers internships whereby selected individuals may gain experience preparatory for the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission's licensing process. You may contact us by email for application and interview. You can check our website for an overview of what you can be doing and learning!
Reviewed 23 May 2014

My wife and I found Bear Creek Feline Center while browsing for things to do while in the Panama City area and, as cat lovers, we knew we had to check it out. We were definitely captivated by the experience. Jim and Bertie turned out to be truly incredible people, whose love for their cats and dedication to educating others is honestly inspiring. They quite literally open their home to groups of guests to share encounters with the various exotic cats which live on the grounds, asking only for a donation to support their feline friends. I have already recommended the experience to several people and will certainly continue to do so. What an excellent experience this was!

3  Thank Jared W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (212)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
All reviews
"big cats"
in 42 reviews
"wild cats"
in 15 reviews
"beautiful cats"
in 11 reviews
"once in a lifetime"
in 13 reviews
"non profit"
in 9 reviews
"florida panther"
in 9 reviews
"mountain lion"
in 7 reviews
"animal lovers"
in 7 reviews
"well taken care"
in 8 reviews
"unique experience"
in 8 reviews
"love cats"
in 5 reviews
"great hosts"
in 5 reviews
"down to earth"
in 3 reviews
"cat lover"
in 3 reviews
"chicken leg"
in 3 reviews
"an excellent experience"
in 3 reviews
"great pictures"
in 4 reviews

177 - 181 of 212 reviews

Reviewed 18 May 2014

We have vacationed in the Panama City/30A area many times. We love the beach but sometimes fun to do something else and this was great. We had a wonderful private tour, got to get up close with the animals and hear so much about Jim and Bertie's experience raising these cats. My husband, myself and our adult children (ages 21, 21 and 26) absolutely loved visiting this place. It was a wonderful change of scenery---and is something I am sure that we will always remember. Jim and Bertie were warm and welcoming. Highly recommend visiting here!

1  Thank sammack13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2014 via mobile

Found this place through trip advisor initially and boy does it live up to those reviews. After emailing Jim to set us up with a tour the drive was well worth it. You can tell that they really love those cats. Got up close and personal with various big cats. Jim made us feel like close friends. Next time I am in the area I am definitely going back and will be donating to their cause. A great time for everyone. Tour was tailored to us personally. I can't say enough good things about this place.

2  Thank Joshua P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2014

My husband and I took an afternoon and visited the Bear Creek Feline Center. What a wonderful decision! Bear Creek is a non-profit charitable organization that is run with care and love by Jim and Bertie. The affection for what they do is evident in their patience with the cats... and visitors too ;-)
We were able to see all the cats while there: Florida Panthers, a Mountain Lion, Bobcats, Jaguarundi, Siberian Lynx, and African Servals. The visit goes beyond just looking at the animals. We were able to enter the enclosure for the Servals, and they were like big house cats, rubbing their heads on the visitors, and one laid across my husband's lap (much to his delight). It was very educational, non-zoo like. While I think they offer t-shirts for sale, there wasn't any active selling of anything - no tourist shop, just their home and the animals.
The cats are well cared for - well fed, no evidence of marks, and very clean enclosures with attention to options for play and rest, visit and hide.
We visited less than a week ago, with the entry donation of $20/pp. At that rate, we would definitely go back if we were nearby (we were vacationing in Destin, 90 minutes away). I see that in the week since our visit, the suggested donation has increased to $50/pp. The visit length overall was about 3 hours, and started right on time. To visit, you need to call and make a reservation. We called with less than 24 hours notice and were able to attend. I think most tours are weekend, as the owners have other professional jobs to attend to during the week.

1  Thank Michele B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 19 April 2014

We planned this trip with our Troup 210 Boy Scouts of Leesburg, GA. It was a truly amazing and heartfelt for all of us. The cats were loved and cherished by Jim and Bertie. We plan to make more trips there to help in any way we can to help BCFC.

1  Thank Meloni G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Bear Creek Feline Center also viewed

Panama City, Florida Panhandle
Panama City Beach, Florida Panhandle
Panama City, Florida Panhandle
Panama City, Florida Panhandle

Been to Bear Creek Feline Center? 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