Founder & President
Chief Executive Officer
Kay Rosaire is one of the most loved and respected animal trainers in the world. She is an 8th generation animal trainer, from one of England’s most respected families of animal trainers.
When Kay was 14, her family moved from England to the town of Waterford, PA. Kay started her own horse riding academy, and with a team of over 50 horses, taught hundreds of kids and adults the art and skills of horsemanship.
Kay’s love of big cats began when she was given the opportunity to care for the second Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion.
Kay is retired from the entertainment industry and dedicates herself full time to the rescue of big cats and other exotic animals in need of a safe and permanent home. She continues to educate visitors at the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary as to the plight of these magnificent animals in the wild, addressing subjects such as conservation and habitat preservation. Kay has spoken at two big cat symposiums for the United States Department of Agriculture and is a recognized expert in animal husbandry pertaining to lions and tigers. You may have seen Kay on the Family Channel, the Oxygen Channel, A&E, in the New York Times and other forms of media. Kay has won numerous awards, and the Rosaire Family is inductees into the prestigious St. Armand’s Circle Ring of Fame.
Chief Operating Officer
Clayton follows a rich family heritage in which mutual respect between man and beast is the key to a harmonious and rewarding experience. Clayton’s lifetime goal and commitment is in the conservation of these majestic and endangered big cats.
Clayton and his wife Danielle have left the entertainment industry and dedicate themselves full time to the care of the animals and operations of the sanctuary. Clayton educates the public on the importance of exotic animal preservation, conservation and habitat preservation through educational demonstrations alongside these magnificent creatures.
Clayton and Danielle are passionate about this cause and the continuation of rescuing animals that will have a forever home at Big Cat Habitat. Clayton and Danielle spend their free time with their 2 incredible children “little” Clayton and Ella.
Walter “Walt” Barnes
Since Walt began working at Big Cat Habitat in 2010, he’s become vital in the daily management of all operations. Walt has played a key role in the continual improvement of the facility for the animals and our guests.
His extensive knowledge in all aspects of construction management brings perspective and expertise to the building and maintenance of our animal habitats. While his true passion is for the big cats, Walt has a unique bond with the many animals that reside at the sanctuary.
Kyle has been working with animals for most of his life. Since arriving at Big Cat Habitat in 2013, he’s found his niche as a key animal care-giver here. Kyle enjoys educating our visitors about our animals and their quirks and habits. He’s got a special gift in working with the birds, but also spends much of his time caring for the big cats and bears. Kyle graduated from Mercyhurst University with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology.
Todd began working at Big Cat Habitat in 2012, helping with daily maintenance and animal husbandry, eventually working up to and caring for the larger apex predators. Todd earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Ramapo College of New Jersey. He moved to Florida in 2007 to work in wildlife management, trapping and relocating larger predatory animals (such as alligators, coyotes, & bobcats). Todd is in charge of developing unique meal plans for each animal. Todd also participates in rescue operations and animal transport.
Diane has a wealth of knowledge that cannot be learned through textbooks, only through hands-on experience. She has been living and working with exotic animals – from elephants to apex predators, and everything in between – for almost her entire life. We are delighted to have such an animal-loving expert, with a keen eye for any subtle changes in appearance or behavior, on our animal care-giving team!
Kara remembers her early years, learning to love animals from her father, who trained and gentled Mustangs so that they could find a safe home. Her family moved to the Venice area when Kara was 7, and there, she learned to ride horses on her cousins’ farm. Kara’s deep interest in working with animals led to her involvement with 4H and Future Farmers of America, where she worked with smaller wildlife, pigs, and steer. She later became involved with the Venice Wildlife Center, learning how to capture and rehabilitate birds of prey, squirrels, and other animal orphans. She started her own pet-sitting business when she was 16, earning her vet assistant certification. Here at Big Cat Habitat, Kara is our resident petting zoo and primate care-giver.
Duke grew up with the Rosaire family, and has been adopted member of the family since his early teens. Duke has travelled and worked extensively with the family throughout the years, except for his time serving our country as a paratrooper in the 153rd Airborne in Vietnam. Duke is a vital part of the daily operations of the Sanctuary. He now spends his workdays building, repairing, and maintaining equipment and habitats.
Pam is larger than life. Through her rough and tough exterior and hilarious, biting wit, shines a woman with passion, determination and a bond so deep with her chimps that it’s easy to forget they are wild and dangerous animals. She is the only woman in the world willing and capable of handling adult chimpanzees. Pamela and Chance delight our guests during our daily animal training demonstrations, where Chance can be seen playing basketball, chatting with the crowd, and just being one crazy chimp!
Ellian has been working with horses since the tender age of 4, when she received a pony for Christmas. She is a gifted expert at all aspects of equestrianism, and she shares her gift with her students at Rosaire’s Riding Academy, which is right around the corner on East Rd. Ellian teaches children and adults the art of true horsemanship, discipline and respect. She has produced many prize-winning riders, and her summer day camp creates memories that last a lifetime for our youth. www.rideapony.com. Here at Big Cat Habitat, Ellian is in charge of all of the hoofstock.
Linda has served on the Big Cat Habitat board of directors for 7 years. She is passionate about the preservation of exotic animal species as well as birds and all domesticated animals. She has provided support to the sanctuary with her vast knowledge of animals. Linda is a retired circus arts performer, but can still create and perform an expansive assortment of tricks with a flock of birds and other critters. When you come to BCH you may be lucky enough to see her showing off the beautiful array of exotic birds at the sanctuary.
Linda lives close to Big Cat Habitat, surrounding herself with a myriad of cows, horses, and dogs (all rescues). Her 2 sons Blake and Grant live nearby and she enjoys her retirement spending time with them, and going fishing with her sons.