Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast “Sanctuary” in Sarasota, Florida, has a grandiose name—but don’t be fooled: It’s no haven for animals. The roadside zoo is owned and operated by the Rosaires —a notorious family who have exploited wild animals in abusive circus shows for decades. They force a liger, a tiger, parrots, lemurs, and others to perform demeaning tricks in front of gawking crowds. They also force sensitive animals into stressful public contact with strangers—including encounters with a sloth, yoga with lemurs and foxes, and photo ops with a young alligator whose mouth is strapped closed. Animals who aren’t used for performances or encounters are left to languish in cramped, barren enclosures.
When Big Cat Habitat isn’t forcing the big cats there to perform, it confines them to concrete cells, only periodically giving them access to natural ground and swimming pools. PETA has previously documented that a tiger named Barry had apparent large calluses on his front legs—likely a result of living on concrete—and was seen sucking his own tail, which is a type of self-injurious behavior.
Big Cat Habitat has been cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for failing to maintain safe, sanitary enclosures and provide animals with clean drinking water; and failing to provide sufficient public barriers to protect animals and humans. In 2023, it received an official warning for allowing a visitor to have direct contact with a juvenile jaguar.
Animals at Big Cat Habitat are treated like nothing more than props for human amusement. Please urge the Rosaires to retire these animals to reputable sanctuaries, where they would never be forced to perform again and could get the care that they desperately need.
Please send polite comments to:
Kay and Clay Rosaire
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