|PROCEEDS SUPPORT EXOTIC AND OTHER ANIMALS NEEDING A PERMANENT HOME
The Extravaganza offers two-hour entertaining and educational demonstrations
with animal performers from around the state. Visitors also can see
the Habitat’s lions, tigers and other animals, have fun at the
petting zoo and take elephant, camel and pony rides.
SARASOTA, Fla., Jan. 2, 2014 – Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary, a nonprofit safe haven for big cats, bears and other animals in need, will hold its annual Animal Extravaganza fundraiser for six weekends from Saturday, Jan. 18, through Sunday, Feb. 23. Gates will open at 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. respectively with two-hour animal demonstrations beginning at 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, except Super Bowl Sunday, which will have only a 1:30 p.m. demonstration.
Big Cat Habitat is at 7101 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota. Entry fees for the Extravaganza are $18 for adults and $7 for children 12 and under, and tickets are available at the door or in advance at www.BigCatHabitat.com. The Habitat will also be open regular hours from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays with a demonstration at 2 p.m.
Throughout the Extravaganza, gates will open an hour and a half before the entertaining and educational animal demonstrations to allow visitors to view the Habitat’s animal residents, participate in the petting zoo and elephant, camel and pony rides, and have a bite to eat, including Sam’s special barbecue. The demonstration will feature talented animal performers from around the state as well as the Habitat’s resident big cats, said Kay Rosaire, who is Big Cat Habitat’s founder and executive director. The big cats are trained by Clayton Rosaire with a combination of gentle handling, praise and treats, she said.
Talented performers include Chance the chimpanzee and Handsome the lion who appear in the movie, “The Wolf of Wall Street”, along with bears, exotic birds, house cats, dogs, and other animal performers that will vary each weekend. During the February demonstrations, a 30-year-old male American-born Asian elephant with rare, perfectly crossed tusks will return to the Extravaganza. The elephant, which weighs nearly 13,000 pounds and is about 12 feet tall, participated in last year’s Extravaganza.
The Animal Extravaganza is the habitat’s largest fundraiser. Monies raised provide for the care of Big Cat Habitat’s exotic and other animals that traditional animal shelters will not take, Rosaire said. Funds to support the animals also are raised year-round through admissions for tours of the facility and donations from the general public.
About Big Cat Habitat:
Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary is a nonprofit safe haven for big cats, bears and other animals in need supported solely through charitable contributions and admission fees. The sanctuary was founded by Kay Rosaire, who has more than 30 years of experience working with, and caring for, exotic animals and who began rescuing big cats in 1987. Big Cat Habitat provides education to the public to foster appreciation for the animals and to impart the importance of habitat preservation. It is located at 7101 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota, Fla. More information is available at www.BigCatHabitat.org, connecting on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BigCatHabitat or by calling 941-371-6377.