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See Wildlife Up Close at Big Cat Habitat & Gulf Coast Sanctuary

Are you coming to Sarasota on vacation? Are you looking for an adventure of a lifetime with your family? Then you need to come and check out Big Cat Habitat in Sarasota. While you can spend all day laying on one of Sarasota’s top beaches, the big cat habitat is fun for the whole family. The big cat sanctuary is the perfect day out from your amazing Sarasota condo rental.

Curious about what the Big Cat Habitat has in store? Keep reading to find out more!

bengal tiger in Sarasota Florida
Photo From: Shutterstock

About Big Cat Habitat

The Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary is a growing large-animal rescue facility in eastern Sarasota County. It was started in 1987 by Kay Rosaire as a non-profit permanent home for exotic animals. The sanctuary was designed to be a permanent home for animals in need. It is also a place for the public to learn about animal care and conservation. Few people know what happens to animals once they are taken in.  So, the sanctuary works to make sure people learn what efforts are taken to provide care for these big cats.

Kay had started rescuing big cats in 1987. Big Cat Habitat became a non-profit sanctuary in 2005. Their biggest goal was to help rescue all kinds of exotic cats. They expanded to include other native and exotic wildlife, giving everything a permanent home. While they hope to rehabilitate animals, the sanctuary aims to help people appreciate the animals. These animals play a huge part in their habitats and habitat preservation.

Inside the park, there are 3 large indoor/outdoor housing complexes. Connected to these complexes are exercise habitats. Big Cat Habitat hopes to keep expanding these habitats to give the animals more space to stretch out. Each habitat also has a swimming pool and is filled with toys! With natural palm trees and many rocks, these help each big cat feel like they’re safe at home. All this is to help the cats have the best mental and physical health that they can while here at the sanctuary.

What Animals Can You See?

While it is called the Big Cat Sanctuary, you can see so much more than big cats! The sanctuary is home to all kidneys of exotic animals, both native and foreign! Big Cat Habitat is home to a wide variety of tigers, lions, bears, primates, birds, and more! You’ll even get to see hybrid animals! The habitat is home to rare hybrid animals like the ligers and the tigons. The liger is the result of a male lion and a female tiger. A tigon is the result of a male tiger and a female lion. Both of these animals are massive and quite a sight to see! There is even a petting zoo! Take your kids to the petting zoo to get up close and personal with different goats and sheep! They can pet, play with, hold, and feed them!

You can even check out their animal ambassadors! These ambassadors are animals that help raise awareness about the species. They educate visitors about the species, the habitats they come from, and what they need to preserve the species.

You’ll find Barry White, the White Bengal Tiger. He represents albino tigers worldwide who are often hunted for their skins. You can also meet Stormy, the silver fox. There’s Marley the Red and Black Ruffed Lemur as well!

Looking for a more personal educational experience? With animal encounters, you can have an interactive experience with the animals. Trainers will be nearby to teach you about the animals as you can play with and hold the animals. Some of the animals available for the encounter are the two-toed sloth, ruffed lemurs, silver fox, and the agile wallaby!

Struggling to get out of your Sarasota rental but still want to experience the encounters? Sign up for the virtual encounters! If you have a birthday party or a video meeting, you can contact us, and we will bring an animal to your screen! Each of these encounters are only available through reservations. When you book a virtual encounter, the animals available are the Alpaca, Pony, American Alligator, Silver Fox, Lavender Fox Pup, Cougar Cub, and more! These animals are only available for virtual encounters and not in person.

Looking to take a whole field trip through this big cat sanctuary in Sarasota? They now offer this option for you! You can still learn all about the animals, their environment, diets, and fun facts, all from the comfort of your home! This fun and educational talk is perfect for those who cannot leave their house but still want to learn about the conservation efforts. You can ask the animal keepers questions and learn all about the different animals Big Cat Habitat Sarasota has to offer. There are so many amazing opportunities to see and learn about the animals here!

Hours & Pricing

Looking to come and explore the park with your family and friends? Big Cat Habitat is open from 12:00pm through 4:00pm every Wednesday through Sunday. If you’re looking to see a live animal demo, the bird show takes place at 1:00pm every Friday through Sunday. The Live variety animal demonstration takes place at 2:00pm on Fridays through Sundays.

Prices vary depending on age. The adult one-day pass costs $20.00, and the child one-day pass costs $10.00. Children under the age of 2 do not need a ticket. Children over the age of 13 must have an adult ticket.

If you’re looking to entire the park year-round, you can even become a member! Every membership has different perks and will help you gain discounts at the shop or rentals. All memberships also offer discounted tickets for special events. The memberships are as follows:

  • Lone Liger-$65. Unlimited free visits and a 10% discount at the gift shop
  • Twin Tiger-$90. Unlimited free visits, 10% discount at the gift shop, 5% discount at venue rentals
  • Lion’s pride-$150. Unlimited free visits, 10% discounts at the gift shop, 10% discount at venue rentals

Are you staying in a Sarasota vacation rental? Sarasota has so many amazing things that you can do when you stay here! If you’re looking for more things to do on your Sarasota beach vacation, the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is the perfect place to spend the day. You can have a whole day planned out between the Big Cat Habitat and the botanical gardens. You’ll never run out of amazing things to do here!

At the end of the day, you can come home to your Sarasota vacation rental home! Every rental is like the perfect home-away-from-home getaway for you and your family. There are so many options for you to choose from. If you want a rental home that can sleep up to eight, that option is available for you! If you have a smaller family or are on a romantic getaway with your partner, our condo rentals would be perfect for you! Each condo and rental home are close to the major attractions. You’ll never be far from the excitement! 

Are you ready to book your Sarasota vacation? Contact us to get started!