Our Day on The Big Cat Rescue Tour at Tampa, FL

Ever come across an extensive collection of cats in a single place before? Cats? Yes, that’s right, Cats!

Imagine a zoo but not comprising of various species of animals. Instead of elephants, giraffes and the likes, you get felines of all shapes and sizes. The name of the facility is Big Cat Rescue, the biggest accredited facility that serves to rescue as well as conserve some of the most beautiful and rarest cats in the world.

Obviously, we didn’t have an allergy to cats, and we are a cat family. Visiting the Big Cat Rescue was the highlight (for me, personally) of our trip to Tampa. The thought of seeing some of the wildest cats (some which used to be tortured or raised in such inhumane way) had me excited.

The rescue tour is run by a non-profit organization, but they certainly need some support to keep going, so for every trip, you will need to pay $39 for age 10 and up and $29 for kids under 10. Arriving early is definitely a good thing if you want to avoid traffic and get to see most of the cats before the place gets crowded! We came half an hour earlier and got to look at the keepers cleaning and feeding the cats!

We were each given a small box each that talks as we started the tour. The box provides information about the feline creatures, where they were found, general summary on the species and exciting things on them.

The Tigers were majestic. Beautiful creatures that loved to ‘patrol’ every time we get close to one of the cages as if they were scanning for the newcomers. The lynxes were super adorable! And then, there’s Mary Ann and Max, the pair that was put together in an enclosure. They love to play together, and it was just amazing to see that regardless of their size, they were still playful at heart.

One thing we noticed about most of the cats was that they loved laying around. Cats love sunbathing, and since most of them had been here for quite some time, they didn’t get bothered by the curious guests observing them.

The guide was informative and answered our questions. She also shared insight as to the pitfalls of owning a big cat as a pet. It was quite the eye-opener as they showed a huge ball which was supposed to be indestructible but couldn’t live up to its name after being played with by a 750 Siberian Tiger.

The enclosures were not as big as cats should have, after all, they are curious wild animals that love to roam. It is in their nature. However, it was a better place for all of these cats because many of them were rescued from situations where they were awfully treated. They also were never taught to live as the free animal they are.

Overall, it was a really great experience in Tampa which I hope to undertake again shortly.

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