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“Day tour not worth it”

Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary
Ranked #1 of 175 things to do in Jacksonville
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Our mission is to provide a safe, loving, forever home for endangered big cats, and to educate the public about their plight in the wild and captivity. We do not breed, sell, or trade any of our animals. Our current residents include tigers, lions, cougars, leopards, bobcats, foxes, and coatimundis (the last two are "honorary cats"). We are only open on select days, and last admittance is 45 minutes before closing. Our annual Haunted Forest is happening again! There are no public feedings during haunted forest, but night feedings will occur each Wednesday. Refer to the Events section of our website for more information. Dates and times for the haunted forest are: Friday, October 13: 6-10 PM Saturday, October 14: 6-10 PM Friday, October 20: 6-10 PM Saturday, October 21: 6-10 PM Sunday, October 22: 1-6 PM Friday, October 27: 6-10 PM Saturday, October 28: 6-10 PM Last admittance 30 minutes before closing.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children, Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase
Reviewed 22 July 2014

We were unable to see a Night Feeding during our trip, so we settled for a daytime tour. It was extremely hot, so the cats were all just laying around, panting. Although they all looked very healthy and well cared for, their enclosures seemed pretty bland and sad. I would not recommend going during the day.

3  Thank Julie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jennadelane, Volunteer at Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary, responded to this reviewResponded 24 July 2014

Thank you very much for coming out to visit the animals! Florida is very hot in the summer, and we recommend that all of our visitors check the weather forecast before coming out to ensure that they are prepared for the heat and any potential rain. All of our animals are nocturnal, so they sleep during the day, and the panting is a natural process to cool the animals down since they do not sweat as humans do. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and we do everything we can to provide the best possible life for each of our animals. The animals have toys and activities and are given enrichments to stimulate them. We care deeply for them and only want the best for them. We hope that you will be able to come back and visit us for a night feeding the next time you are in town. Thanks again for your visit!

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746 - 750 of 1,211 reviews

Reviewed 21 July 2014

Visited the Caddy Shack this past weekend and had a fantastic time..... Watching the live feeding was an awesomeeee experience. The volunteers were very polite, knowledegable answering all our questions... Can't wait to re-visit...

2  Thank Alana K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2014

Our daughter took us to this big cat sanctuary to see 30 to 40 big cats first hand & watch them be fed just before night fall. Lions, Tigers, Panthers, Leopards, & some other species. This organizations looks like they're doing great work to save otherwise doomed animals that were bought as pets or neglected in small zoos or amusements around the country & were not being cared for. All of the cats looked healthy & well taken care of. Our guide, Billy, was excellent & knowledgeable. The guided tour took about 45 minutes. Billy said something that stuck with me before we watched the feeding, he said these were still wild animals & were not trained in any way to entertain the visitors. As we watched the founders of this Big Cat Rescue get inside the cages & feed the animals by hand, hug, scratch behind the ears & pull their tales as they were feeding I found they indeed were there for entertainment.
I also thought the founders were risking all the good works they have accomplished in this facility by satisfying their own selfish needs to handle these wild animals. It's only a matter of time until things go terribly wrong. Not IF it happens but WHEN it happens one or more of these great cats will be destroyed.
On the personal side, the facility is bare bones so there are no restrooms only portable's & you could be there up to 21/2 hrs.

5  Thank Dan O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2014

What a wonderful way to spend an evening... each cat had its own personality. Magnificent creatures, all of them. So happy they found a loving home to live out the rest of their lives. Keep up the good work!!!

2  Thank BeachBum32034
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2014

We went on a night that had a bit of rain so the area was a little muddy, but the evening was quite enjoyable. You can tell that the staff really love their animals and what they do. The cats were quite beautiful and impressive to watch eat.

1  Thank Rachel M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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