I’ve been living in Tampa 3 years now and I’m still so excited to experience new places. This week I had the pleasure of getting a behind the scenes tour of Big Cat Rescue with Susan Bass.
Their mission is to provide the best home they can for the cats in their care, end abuse of big cats in captivity, and prevent extinction of big cats in the wild.
Which cats do I speak of? The Big Cats! Lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards, cheetahs, bobcats and more.
I had no idea what I was in for. I learned so much about these cats that I have new respect and understanding about how they live and what they need.
Big Cat Rescue main mission is taking care of cats who have been hurt and ending the trade of these animals. They were designed to live free; not in cages. Here at Big Cat Rescue, they live freely on 70+ acres. Although they still have a barrier between them and the gatekeepers. They currently have 60 cats.
The only way to see these cats is through a paid tour.
A few cool points about Big Cat Rescue
1. Watch the cats 24 hours a day on several live streaming webcams. The best quality web cams are provided by Explore.org
- Short videos of Enrichment and big cat issues BigCatTV.com
- Get behind the scenes at Big Cat Rescue DailyBigCat.com
2. They have a small staff, but mostly everything is done by interns and volunteers. Here are a few ways you can help support their mission:
- Sponsor a cat / Become a member
- Set up a monthly donation
- Leave a Legacy: Remember the cats in your Will
- Big Cat Rescue Wish List
- Amazon Wish List (sign up for free w/ Smile.Amazon first & Amazon will donate, too! see below)
3. They educate you on the tour.
I learned how these animals are breeded for circus acts and are beaten until they are no longer useful. Have you wondered why so many circuses have went out of business or don’t use as many animals as they use to? There is a worldwide circus ban on using wild animals in circuses.
Nikita, The Lioness
The lifespan of most wild cats are 10-12 years, but living at the Big Cat Rescue adds years to their life. Nikita has been at Big Cat Rescue for 18 years. Nikita has been there since she was 9 months old. She is considered a senior citizen.
Nikita was found chained to the wall in a crack house during a drug bust in Tennessee. Because she had been confined to a concrete floor, she had huge swellings on her elbows that took months to heal. She was so thin that you could carry her under one arm. Nikita has flourished under their care. She has grown into a tall, lanky, healthy lioness.
See her full bio here
The Lion King DVD Release
We visited Big Cat Rescue on the same day as the The Lion King Live Action DVD Release (10/22/2019) on digital and blue-ray.
The Lion King is a classic, loved by everyone. The live action bought another level of action and love to an already perfect movie.
I toured with my new favorite blogger, Marisa of Tampa Mama.
After talking, we found out we have a lot in common and have even attended some of the same events in the past. Our paths never crossed until last Saturday.
One thing we were both excited about is the Digital release of the Lion King. It’s gives us another opportunity to create memories (movie night) with our family. With Halloween coming up, I’d like to also include a pumpkin carving template below. Save it to your computer and print it out.
What was your favorite part of The Lion King? I loved when Simba realized who he really was and was ready to take his place on the throne.
My favorite part of the Big Rescue is interacting with the cats. I also enjoyed learning about the background of how each cat was recused and ended up at the sanctuary.
If you’re in Tampa, take a tour. You’ll enjoy it. If you love The Lion King, pick up the new digital or blue ray release! It’s a classic.