You can make a difference for Big Cat Habitat…YOUR gift can DOUBLE or TRIPLE in the 2016 Giving Challenge!

10/08/15 0 COMMENTS

ChanceSeptember 20th at noon to September 21st at noon will be our fourth year participating in the Community Foundation Giving Challenge. This year, we are really excited because ALL donations may count DOUBLE or TRIPLE!

The donations of all new donors (those who have not given to Big Cat Habitat & Gulf Coast Sanctuary during previous Giving Challenges) will be “matched” 2:1, from $25-100 by The Patterson Foundation. ALL returning donor gifts from $25-$100 will be matched 1:1 by The Patterson Foundation.

Over 95% of our budget goes directly to the care of the animals and improvement of their habitats. Your donation will help us to improve habitats and animal enrichment.

This past week, on Sept 11, 2016, we accepted into our care, a remarkable and very rare 7 year old Tigon (cross between a Tiger and Lion). His name is Rahja. Your continued support is so important to us; for every time we take in an animal in need, we commit to providing them a safe and permanent home for the rest of their lives.

Visit to support the animals now!

The 2016 Giving Challenge is made possible by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and The Patterson Foundation with support from the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Manatee Community Foundation, and the Herald-Tribune Media Group.

What you can do to help:

Visit during Sept 20-21, Noon-Noon, and select Big Cat Habitat & Gulf Coast Sanctuary as recipient of your donations.
Visit us on Facebook. Like us, share our posts about the Challenge, and Invite your friends to Like us!
Use #GivingChallenge2016 and #BigCatHabitat in your Social Media to spread the word about the challenge!
We and The Animals THANK YOU!


Cancellation of 2015 Big Cat Extravaganza

08/01/15 0 COMMENTS

Brutus the LigerDue to multiple circumstances that are beyond our control we have had to cancel our yearly fundraiser, the Animal Extravaganza. We are saddened and we really appreciate the support of everyone that has attended and wanted to attend this year. If we could find a way to make it happen we would, but there are too many circumstances for us to overcome.

We will have different and exciting events happening during the weekends for the the 6 weeks the Extravaganza would have been occurring. More info to come on these events.

We appreciate and care for all of our supporters and volunteers. We will look forward to the 2016 Animal Extravaganza.

Big Cat Habitat Hosts Food Bank Drive At Annual ‘Wild-O-Ween’

18/10/14 0 COMMENTS


BarrypoolChildren 12 and under will be admitted free with a donation of nonperishable food items for All Faiths Food Bank. The event is kid-friendly (not scary) with food, games, prizes, and a pumpkin toss for the bears and big cats.

Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary is hosting its annual kid-friendly Wild-O-Ween Festival, which is exciting without being scary, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 31, Nov. 1 and 2, from 12 until 5 p.m. Children 12 and under will be admitted free with a donation of nonperishable food items for All Faiths Food Bank.


June’s All Faiths Food Bank Event – 4.5 Tons of Food

FoodbankAt our Jam Out Hunger even 3,000 visitors attended and they brought 4.5 tons of groceries to feed the needy children during “summer vacation”! This event was a HUGE SUCCESS. The 4.5 tons of food may be the largest one day event, All Faiths Food Bank has ever had. We want to beat that number this month for Wild-O-Ween so please spread the word! 

Family Fun – Fri., Sat. & Sun.  – Oct. 31, Nov. 1 & 2

CamelwalkingWe will be open from 12pm to 5pm. Family fun includes visiting with the Habitat’s exotic and other animals, petting zoo, music, children’s costume contest, games, prizes, and photos with a white tiger. Attendees may bring small pumpkins to toss to the bears (they’ll eat them) and the big cats (they’ll play with them). Admission for adults is $15, and regular admission for children 12 and under is $7. Parking free.

While food donations go to the food bank, all proceeds of Wild-O-Ween, along with Big Cat Habitat’s regular tours, demonstrations and special events, are used to feed and care for the exotic animals, wildlife, and other animals that can’t go to a regular shelter. Any animal that comes to Big Cat Habitat is given a permanent home for life. For more information see or call 941-371-6377.

Elephant Appreciation Day Event

15/09/14 0 COMMENTS


  • Saturday, September 20th 2014 11:00am until 5:00pm
  • Two Tails Ranch is having its 3rd annual elephant appreciation day Fundraiser
  • 18655 NE 81 St WILLISTON, Fl. 32696
  • (352) 359-6676
  • Gate admission $10.00 person

Come join the fun & learn All About Elephants!

Pony rides! Camel rides ! Face painting ! Live music! Food! see Zebras,camels,Lemurs & more… Also, special Guests from Big Cat Habitat


WILLISTON, Florida – Two Tails Ranch / All About Elephants, is having their 3rd annual Elephant Appreciation Day fund raiser on Saturday September 20th from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Come join the fun and learn all about elephants. There will be live music, food, animal interactions, Demonstrations, pony rides, camel rides, and more.

Two Tails Ranch; was founded in 1984 by Theodore H. Svertesky and Patricia L. Zerbini. The ranch is the only privately owned elephant facility of its kind; we receive no state or government funding. The ranch was built to board and care for both Asian and African elephants needing temporary or permanent housing, regardless of health or dispositions. “We also offer educational programs, for groups or individuals,” in private guided tours you will learn and interact with elephants like no where else outside of Asia or Africa.

Gate admission for this event; $10.00 per person (2 and under no charge)Twotailsl

100% of all proceeds go directly to care for our animals.

Special Guest animals from Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary

For more information, visit our website, all about elephants on face book or e-mail direct to Patricia Zerbini at

We hope to see you soon, and Thank you for your support!

Patricia Zerbini and all the residents of the ranch.

18655 NE 81 St WILLISTON, Fl. 32696 (352) 359-6676

Educational Course on Exotic Felines Jan. 10-12th, 2013

30/12/13 0 COMMENTS

WILDCAT WEEKEND –  Come to the Big Cat Habitat for an educational course from the Feline Conservation Federation Jan. 10-12th, 2013.

Dates and Location

Feline Conservation FederationFriday, January 10 through Sunday, January 12, 2014 at the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary, 7101 Palmer Blvd, Sarasota, Florida

Cost and Attendance Info

  • Courses are $125 each for FCF members, $160 non-members. (Join FCF online today and get the members rate.)
  • Saturday’s special guided tour is $15.
  • Register online and pay for both classes and your Saturday tour is free!
  • Stay just 2 miles away at the AmericInn, 5931 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL 34232.
  • Travelocity has a monster sale right now – pay only $76 per night. Or save even more by combining your flight with AmericInn Hotel reservations. Check it out!


The BASIC EXOTIC/WILD FELINE HUSBANDRY COURSE is designed to aid caregivers at any level of experience. The course instruction helps attendees provide better quality of life for their animals while also making them aware of larger issues in the feline ownership world.

The Husbandry Course includes an introduction to all the species of wild cats, and specifically covers nutrition, health care, habitat construction and enrichment, laws and regulatory agencies, contingency planning, behavior conditioning and much more. The recently updated student textbook includes demonstrative photos and notes to provide reference for years to come.

A special feature of this year’s event will be a one hour, live animal show at 2:00 pm. The course attendees will watch as a variety of felines are given a daily training class that uses positive reinforcement to shape desired natural behaviors. See firsthand how professionals handle and work around big cats.

Students receive a textbook, test, and Certificate of Completion. Lunch is provided.

Recharge from the day of course work by returning to Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary on Saturday for a very special guided tour of the facility and watch another training demonstration. Kay will give us special treatment as she points out how this facility operates, with special emphasis on topics taught and practices learned in the husbandry course.


Recharge from the day of course work by returning to Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary on Saturday for a very special guided tour of the facility and watch another training demonstration. Kay will give us special treatment as she points out how this facility operates, with special emphasis on topics taught and practices learned in the husbandry course.


FCF is proud to announce another chance to attend The WILDLIFE CONSERVATION EDUCATOR’S COURSE is a “how to” course designed to cover all the basics of developing a safe, informative, entertaining and successful wildlife educator’s program. Already working as an educator at a zoo, sanctuary or nature center? Let FCF help you stand out and be more valuable to your employer by learning new creative ways present wildlife programs.

Taught by an experienced wildlife educator, the course is designed to take you step by step from starting a business, to booking shows, promoting, advertising and expanding your business, and most importantly, developing conservation messages that engage, entertain, and capture your viewers’ attention. You will also learn how to manage different types of audiences and how to speak and act professionally. And of course, the class covers federal licensing required and how to choose and train animals for outreach ambassador rolls.

The Educator’s Course also includes two interactive workshops. And as a special added benefit, attendees will watch a one hour training demonstration of felines at the Big Cat Habitat, put on by a professional animal trainer. This is a unique opportunity to actually see how professionals shape desired behaviors and condition and ready animals for public display.

Students receive a textbook, test, and Certificate of Completion. Lunch is provided.

A Great Educational Experience

This is a great opportunity for exotic feline owners, or those hoping to be owners, to learn about how to properly care for these wonderful creatures. We hope you can attend.

Sarasota, the Perfect Christmas Gift for Your Loved Ones!

13/12/13 0 COMMENTS

Need a gift for a loved one in the Sarasota, Bradenton, Venice area? We now have yearly memberships for adults and children! General admission all year, special events excluded.

$50 for adults and $25 for kids! You can stop by the habitat and buy them anytime we are open or contact us at 941-371-6377!

We Are Open 5 Days A Week, Wednesday thru Sunday 12:30PM-4:00PM, 7101 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34240


Big Cat Habitat Unveils Major Expansions Today

20/11/13 0 COMMENTS

sheebaAdditions to the sanctuary include primate condominiums, aviary, expanded petting zoo and large koi pond. Elephants also will be given a permanent home at the sanctuary with the planned construction of a new elephant house and enclosure.

10:30am Ceremony November 20th

Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary, a nonprofit safe haven for big cats, bears and other animals in need, will celebrate the grand opening of its first major expansion today with help from its animal friends. Cutting the ribbon at a special 10:30 a.m. ceremony at 7101 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota, will be Chance, a three-year-old chimpanzee, who is back home from New York City where he finished filming his big screen debut with co-star Leonardo DiCaprio in the upcoming Martin Scorsese movie, “The Wolf of Wall Street.” The gates will open to the public at 12:30 p.m.


The expansion includes a new aviary, larger primate “condominiums”, a koi pond, and expanded petting zoo area, said Kay Rosaire, Big Cat Habitat’s founder. The $150,000 expansion was made possible through private gifts from Russ and Sharon Stephens of Siesta Key, who sponsored construction of the Russ and Sharon Stephens Aviary, and the Nelson Trust as well as individual donations to the project. Admission fees and contributions made by visitors to the sanctuary also were important to completion of the project, Rosaire said. Generous donations of time by Sentry Protection Technology, Denham’s Aluminum & Screen Services, and Stuart Home Services made the new expansion possible, she added.

In addition, ground will be broken soon on a new $150,000 hurricane-hardened elephant house and enclosure, Rosaire said. The 7,000 square foot elephant house and visitor center will accommodate at least two elephants. Community support for an additional $50,000 in donations is needed to complete the project, she said. Construction of the concrete reinforced block building, which will be hurricane hardened to withstand winds up to 240 mph, will get under way with support from Armour Tight Concrete and R.D. Johns, Inc., both of Sarasota.

The new aviary has enclosures for the larger exotic birds, including blue macaws, cockatoos, and others. It includes natural touches like a rock wall and water feature. A special enclosure will allow smaller birds to fly free and be hand fed by visitors. The primate condos include expanded climbing opportunities, activity areas and enrichment toys.

Recent Changes

The sanctuary recently gave permanent homes to several residents that now are housed in the new primate area, including lemurs and spider monkeys from a private collection. A large pond with a waterfall was built to house koi rescued when King Richard’s Family Fun Park in Naples, Fla., closed earlier this year, she said. The petting zoo has been expanded to add a climbing tower for the goats and an enlarged tortoise enclosure. It also allows more interaction with the animals, which include peacocks, turkey and other fowl, and ostrich-like emus, including the emu that Sarasota County Animal Control rescued in October after finding it wandering near Fruitville Road.

“We are so grateful to everyone who helped us provide homes for more animals in need with this expansion. Exotic animals may have multiple owners in their lifetime, but our promise is to provide a permanent home to every one that comes to us,” Rosaire said. “We believe in the human-animal bond with all our hearts, and with a few exceptions, like the koi, every one of them has a name. Our goal is to provide for their mental and emotional well being with stimulation and companionship as well as taking care of them physically.”

Visitor Information

Big Cat Habitat is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Check or call 941-371-6377 for days and times of operation. No reservations are necessary, and parking is free. Refreshments also are available. Admission is $15 for adults and $7 for children 12 and under, and annual passes are available. More information can
be found at or by calling 941-371-6377.

WE NEED YOUR HELP: 36 Hour Challange

01/03/13 0 COMMENTS


image001The Money Will Give BRUTUS our 900 Pound Liger a NEW Habitat

Here’s How To Give….March 5 at 7 a.m. to March 6 at 7 p.m.

  1.  Visit
  2. Go to “Find an organization”
  3. Then click on “animal related”
  4. Choose Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary as your Charity
  5. With a credit card you can make a Secure Online Donation.
  6. Your Gift will help Big Cat Habitat Share in more than $645,000 in Matching and Challenge SUPPORT.
Brutus the Liger

Brutus the Liger


06/02/13 2 COMMENTS

What is the 36-Hour Giving Challenge

It is an online giving event providing donors the opportunity to learn more about nonprofits and their causes in the Sarasota area.  Matching funds and special grants totaling more than $600,000 are available to 501 (c)(3) nonprofits as incentives during this short, exciting period of time.  Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary is partnering with the 36-Hour Giving Challenge.

Visit our profile at

Here’s How To Give….March 5 at 7 a.m. to March 6 ‘at 7 p.m.

  1.  Visit
  2. Go to “Find an organization”
  3. Then click on “animal related”
  4. Choose Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary as your Charity
  5. With a credit card you can make a Secure Online Donation.

WHY Donate? Brutus Needs a New Home!

To partner directly with Big Cat Habit and Gulf Coast Sanctuary to create a NEW habitat for Brutus, the 900 plus pound Liger (father – a lion & mother – a tiger).  Brutus is three and a half years old.  He will continue to grow until his 5th birthday.  At that time he should weight between 1200 to 1300 pounds.  Brutus needs your help to make this a reality, please,

DONATE..minimum donations are $25.00 to have your name posted on the Leaderboard.  Smaller contributions can be sent by check to Big Cat Habitat, 7101 Palmer Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34240.

When You Can Help

The online Giving Event will take place from 7 a.m. on Tuesday, March 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, 2013.  Anyone who wishes to participate will be able to make a secure donation to Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary by debit or credit card.

Where: Donate Online

Access the 36-Hour Giving Challenge through a link on The Giving Partner website at directly through the Challenge site at  It is not possible to donate on the Challenge website until 7:00 a.m. on March 5.

Who is Matching Donations & Giving Grants?

The Community Foundation of Sarasota County and the Patterson Foundation are presenting partners in the Challenge, with support from sponsors Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Manatee Community Foundation, Charlotte Community Foundation and the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation.  These Foundations are providing the matching 1:1 grants and the special grants throughout the Giving Challenge.

Afternoon Hours Starts Today – Now Open 12:30-4PM

31/10/12 0 COMMENTS

Our afternoon hours will remain in place until June 2013! So, please come and enjoy the cooler weather with the animals at Big Cat Habitat!

(941) 371-6377
Habitat Address:
7101 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34240

 Page 1 of 4  1  2  3  4 »