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“What a great day!”

Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary
Ranked #8 of 141 things to do in Sarasota
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary provides a sanctuary "for life" for the exotic animals currently calling the sanctuary home. Our goal is to create habitats that mimic native environments and are complete with a staff that can provide daily behavioral, sensory, and manipulative enrichment which is the basis for a happy healthy animal in captivity. As we grow and open our habitat to more rescues we will provide the same excellent care while educating the public.
Useful Information: Food available for purchase, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“What a great day!”
Reviewed 27 December 2012

An amazing experience for any animal lover! We had a great day today at the Big Cat Habitat. We are on vacation in Sarasota for the holidays and this was our second time visiting this place (we went for the first time last year). Once again, we were not disappointed! Tigers, lions, bears, ligers (yes, ligers!!) , and many more, will make your day. There's a show in the afternoon and then you can spend the rest of your time admiring these beautiful creatures. There's also a little petting zoo, for small and big kids alike :) But we could have spent hours just watching the big felines, they are just something else.

The place was packed today and you could see the owners and volunteers were genuinely grateful. Keep in mind this place is a rescue organization. It lives off donations and days like today. And trust me, the family who owns this place are not in it for the money : they are truly dedicated people who are giving their lives to these rescued animals. You can only admire that.

So a great day, for a great cause, all in all an amazing experience! We'll be back next year!

Visited December 2012
1 Thank fanne4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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919 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Level Contributor
100 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Terrific animal sanctuary”
Reviewed 23 December 2012

Our visit to the Big Cat Habitat exceeded our expectations and was really fun for the whole family on a sunny winter afternoon. The highlight is the hourlong show. First is Chance the chimp and his trainer (and surrogate mother) from the Rosaire family. Then the big cats show their stuff, led by Clayton, their trainer. They are magnificent to see even before they show off their skills, sleek and well fed. Clayton, son of Kay Rosaire, says he grew up with them and it certainly shows.
Before the show, we enjoyed seeing the bears, monkeys, and other animals in their caged habitats, often with pools and other play equipment to keep them interested in life. (since many live 3 times as long in a refuge as they normally do in the wild). Some of the miniature goats and the emus can be fed by visitors up close and personal, and volunteers are around to make sure all goes well. The theme of animal welfare is expressed well by what the Rosaire family and their many volunteers say and do.

Visited December 2012
1 Thank beachqueen2225
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Valencian Country, Spain
Level Contributor
130 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“A Heartwarming Visit”
Reviewed 12 December 2012

My wife and I are cat lovers and had previously been very dubious about animals held in captivity. Our visit to the Big Cat Habitat has totally changed our views. All the big cats etc have been rescued from predominantly private ownership but I have never seen a "zoo" like this before.
The care and affection lavished on the animals is immediately evident, they are immaculately clean and well nourished and tended by loving, caring volunteer staff. Never before have I been so close to such majestic animals and the whole visit was an uplifting experience where animal welfare is clearly the priority.

Visited November 2012
3 Thank Boris11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“The Rosaires animal sanctuary”
Reviewed 8 December 2012

as you walk in to pay it looks less than good, but first impressions are misleading in this case. it is a family place and ALL the animals are included in this huge family from Chance the chimp to Mia and Brutus the Ligers. We visited 4 times during our stay in Florida and enjoyed every visit, first impression of Clayton is that he is very ordinary, another mistake - he is the big cat trainer and his performance with Handsome the Lion, two white tigers and one of the Ligers is DEFINATELY worth the visit, also worth watching is Kay's sisters act with Chance the chimp ( who is also a tv advert star) he is extremely funny

Visited November 2012
Thank Alan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, NY
Level Contributor
573 reviews
97 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 236 helpful votes
“Fabulous Habitat & Great Demonstration”
Reviewed 7 December 2012

This attraction will appeal to everyone -- adults and children. These are among the luckiest animals I've ever seen. They've been saved from death by a family who has been doing this work for generations. They have lots of land to wander around. You'll get to see many of them up close. The "show" is educational and gave me a new respect for these animals and for those whocare for them. It's worth the trip.

Visited December 2012
Thank damg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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