How many people come home from vacation and can say they fed a tiger? For a truly unique wildlife experience, the Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary lets you get up close and personal (well, sort of) with over 40 animals including Siberian tigers, lions, cougars, black leopards, bobcats, coatimundis and foxes.
Catty Shack is a non-profit animal sanctuary that takes in exotic animals from zoos and private owners who are no longer able to care for them. Animals get the specialized care and attention they need, while also serving to educate the public. The team behind Catty Shack strongly believes in teaching children and adults about the different species, the risks of owning them as pets and their plight in the wild.
Catty Shack is open for daytime and night feeding tours on specific days. Daytime tours generally run from 1:00 – 4:00pm and night feedings occur at 7:30pm. Tours include information about the animals habitats and food, in addition to interesting facts about the species. Guides also share personal stories about some of the animals. Since many of the big cats are nocturnal, night tours often offer the best opportunity for interaction. Night feeding tours can get loud as the residents are wide awake and will often roar with excitement.
There are plenty of photo opps on this once-in-a-lifetime excursion. You can even “adopt” an animal and donate to the animal’s care and feeding. Imagine the look on a teacher’s face when your child answers the question, “What did you do on summer vacation?”
Cost: Adults: $10; Children (3-11): $5; 2 & Under: Free
Catty Shack Ranch
1860 Starratt Road
Jacksonville, FL 32226