Chance, a five-year-old chimpanzee, will cut a ribbon opening a new walkway between habitats. The walkway allows visitors a very up-close, and safe, view of the big cats.
SARASOTA, Fla., Aug. 12, 2015 – Big Cat Habitat, a nonprofit safe haven for big cats, bears and other animals in need, has added new enclosures and habitat areas for 12 big cats. The new areas will allow visitors safe, up-close viewing of the cats, including Brutus, a four-year-old 1,100-pound liger who outgrew existing enclosures.
The grand opening for the new areas will be Friday, Aug. 14, at 11:30 a.m., at 7101 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota, with a ribbon-cutting to open a new walkway between habitats by Chance, a five-year-old chimpanzee raised by Pamela Rosaire Zoppe, according to Kay Rosaire, Big Cat Habitat’s founder. At that time, a new walkway will open allowing visitors to “walk on the wild side” between the old and new enclosures for close views and photo ops of the big cats lounging and playing with their boomer balls. As with the older enclosures, the new enclosures will have splash pools for the tigers. “Lions are more like domestic cats in their attitudes about water, but tigers love to splash, play, and cool off in the pools,” Rosaire said. Benches along the walkway will allow for relaxed viewing, she added. The enclosures are all double fenced so visitors may get within 4 feet of the big cats safely.
The $90,000 expansion was made possible through a $10,000 bequest from the estate of Hub Hubbell, $6,000 raised by Sunset Subaru’s Share the Love event, many individual donations, and admission fees, Rosaire said. Big Cat Habitat also recently opened a new “Marmoset Mansion,” housing three marmosets, a species of tiny money, and a spider monkey.
“The exotic animals we have here would not survive in the wild, even if there were wild habitat left for them, which for many there isn’t,” Rosaire said. “We believe it is important to provide not only for their physical care, but their mental and emotional wellbeing. We are so grateful to everyone who has made it possible to provide permanent homes and enrichment for these big cats and all of the animals here, and on behalf of the animals, we thank them.”
Big Cat Habitat is at 7101 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota. More information is available by calling 941-371-6377, by visiting www.BigCatHabitat.org, or by connecting on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BigCatHabitat.
About Big Cat Habitat:
Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary is a 501(c)3 nonprofit safe haven for big cats, bears and other animals in need that is supported solely through charitable contributions and admission fees. Big Cat Habitat has earned a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence for outstanding reviews. 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.