Bucket list check | 27. See tigers at the Big Cat Rescue


Tigers are my spirit animal so wouldn’t it make sense to visit the world’s largest accredited sanctuary for exotic cats? Growing up, we were a “cat family” thus turning me into one who could have been a crazy cat lady if my husband and I never got married that cold December day.


What I like about this place is that they rescue the big cats and end the misuse of large cats elsewhere. They have saved many illegal pets and kitties from fur farms. We saw tigers of course but we also wandered around bobcats, servals, lions, leopards, caracals, cougars, and even one adorable domestic kitten. Just as it was explained to us, these cats basically did cat-like things. They climbed and they slept just like any house cat would do during the day; the only difference is their majestic size.


I actually just looked up some information and apparently they’ve been rescuing beautiful cats since 1992, exactly one month before I was born. That’s awesome.


The tour was self-explanatory. We walked around with a group and a guide learning about the cats, their backstories, what the organization does, and even some background on the people who started it all. Basically, a woman went to take a smaller cat and stumbled upon a place where many were being bred for fur coats. She was appalled by what she saw so she bought fifty or more cats and thus the Big Cat Rescue was born.


You can tell the people really care about their tigers unlike a few other places we’ve been to see tigers. They have plenty of space to play in, their habitats were clean, and the cats seemed like they were fine. Even the serval with an attitude who kept hissing. This organization is a non-profit organization so it was a nice change not to feel like they were only after our money and trying to exploit the cats. I’ve been to some questionable places. Each place has its ups and downs but overall the experience was good.


I felt like crying, actually teared up twice. I know the tour consists of telling about the stories they’ve gone through and that there are certain laws that needed to be changed, however the sad stories simply made me feel badly with no way to help. I wanted it to be more positive and happy. People are so cruel to animals and it makes me so sad that there aren’t many left in the wild.

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    1. Yep, I’m a youngin’, only 22! Haha 🙁

      It’s okay because I feel like I was born in the wrong decade. I act well beyond my years and that’s okay with me! Most of my friends (and my husband even) are a little older than me and I like it that way. 🙂

      Yes! This is in Tampa.

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