Big Cat Habitat is a great way to spend the day in Sarasota, FL
One of the most popular questions we get from guests at Tropical Beach Resorts is ‘What can we do with the kids?’ There are so many great attractions other than the gorgeous white sand beaches in Sarasota. Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary is one of my favorites! It’s located about 20 minutes from the hotel out near Fruitville and I-75 and is so worth the trip.
Let me just start with this…they have not one, but two Ligers! Yes, Ligers….I had no clue that they existed in real life and thought they were just a made up animal from the Napoleon Dynamite movie. But wow, what magnificent creatures with incredible markings, colors and their overall size is breathtaking! They are the biggest cat in the world, yet do not exist naturally; actually they are a hybrid of a female Tiger and a male Lion.
We spent this past Sunday there and had such a great experience and am already looking forward to my next time. There are so many cool animals, not just the Big Cats. The Habitat is full of interesting and exciting animals and also has a daily Exotic bird show as well as Animal Encounter. You can feed hotdogs to the bears and you can feed meat to the Siberian Tigers! There is a petting zoo which is great for the kids and the goats are sure to give you a little nudge requesting treats.
How the Habitat Began
The story of Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary began in 1987 and was founded by Kay Rosaire, who enjoys more than 30 years experience working with and caring for exotic animals. She and her son Clayton do the daily demonstrations with the animals. The Rosaires’ special relationships with the animals makes every demonstration thrilling to watch, with the opportunity to see the animals in a close encounter of the exotic kind! The Habitat is a tremendous opportunity to learn and experience exotic and endangered Siberian Tigers, Royal Bengal Tigers, African Lions, and rare White Tigers.
The Habitat has an incredible website and drone footage of their property, it is very cool. This is a great way to spend some time with the family and learn lots of really neat stuff about a wide variety of animals. They also have a food stand with Icees, hot dogs, sausages, lemonade and more. There are plenty of shaded areas around the habitat to take a break and the arena where the Animal Encounter is held is air-conditioned.
They are closed Mondays and Tuesdays, but otherwise open from 12p-4p. The Parrots in Paradise show is at 1pm and the Animal Encounter is at 2pm. We have brochures and maps in the office, so stop in if we can help!