Big Cat Rescue

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Big Cat Rescue is an animal sanctuary in Tampa, Florida devoted to rescuing and housing exotic felines, rehabilitating injured or orphaned native wild cats, and ending the private trade and ownership of exotic cats via educational outreach and legislation. The center is home to more than 100 wild cats, representing 11 species.[1]

The sanctuary is located on 55 acres (22 ha) in Citrus Park, Florida.[2] It receives approximately 25,000 visitors per year.[3] Big Cat Rescue began operating in 1992, and bills itself as "the largest accredited sanctuary in the world dedicated entirely to abused and abandoned big cats." It is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and a member of the World Society for Protection of Animals.[2][4][5]

The center is part of the International Tiger Coalition along with 21st Century Tiger and Harrison Ford.[6] The organization maintains a large online presence, especially on YouTube.[7] Southwest Airlines has donated flights for rescues, such as three cougar kittens from Idaho.[8]

Remarkable past rescues include a bobcat named Skip, brought in with a crushed pelvis. Another famous rescue involved two tigers, Cookie and Alex, and a liger, Freckles. Of these, only Alex is still alive. Fans of Skip gathered on Facebook, dubbing themselves "Skipaholics" and paying for his medical bills, upkeep, and two video camera traps.[9][10]


  1. ^ Brodowsky, Pamela. Ecotourists Save the World: The Environmental Volunteer's Guide to More Than 300 International Adventures to Conserve, Preserve, and Rehabilitate Wildlife and Habitats. ISBN 0399535764. 
  2. ^ a b "Credentials: Big Cat Rescue". Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "Big Cat Rescue finances". Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries". Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "WSPA members". Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "Harrison Ford: Big Cat Rescue". Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  7. ^ November 29, 2010 (2010-11-29). "[Book Interview] Nonprofit Example of Social Media Excellence: Big Cat Rescue". Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  8. ^ "Tampabay: Little Cat Rescue". 2005-10-29. Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ "SKIP the bobcat". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-05-31. 

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