Lions and leopards and bobcats, oh my! If, like the internet, you share the sentiment that cats totally rule, then the Big Cat Rescue in Tampa is a great day trip to plan during your next stay at Beso Del Sol Resort.
Tampa’s Big Cat Rescue (BCR) began in 1993 when the founders purchased 56 bobcat kittens to save them from slaughter and the abominable conditions on a fur farm. Today, the sanctuary provides a safe haven for approximately 100 lions, tigers, bobcats, cougars, servals and other species that have been abandoned, abused or even retired from performing acts.
Sprawled over 67 acres in the Citrus Park area of north Tampa, BCR offers tours for visitors to see all the cats, including day, night, kids and feeding tours (some tours do not allow children under 10 years of age). Tours are about an hour to an hour and a half long.
Big cat trivia:
- The name Jaguar comes from the ancient Indian name “yaguar” which meant “the killer which overcomes its prey in a single bound.”
- The leopard can run nearly 40 miles per hour for brief periods, leap more than 20 feet horizontally and 10 feet vertically, and is a very adept swimmer.
- The lion is the only social cat. They live in large groups (prides), share territory, and regularly hunt together. The females in the pride share in the rearing of all cubs.
- The tiger is the largest of all living cats. Today, there are more tigers in captivity then exist in the wild. They are perhaps the most heavily hunted animal for trade on the black market.
- The bobcat’s primary and preferred diet is rabbit, but they are scavengers and will eat almost anything.
Are you a big cat fan? Tell us about your favorite places to see these fantastic felines.