Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary
If you would like to see wild animals in their natural setting, the best place to go is Africa, where all the big cats can be found living naturally in the wild. While there are many zoos around the country, they can only provide you with a small glimpse of the big cats. The next best place to see the big cats is The Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary. This is a rescue center for endangered big cats. The sanctuary offers the most humane environment for these wild cats to thrive. However, they do not do any breeding, trading, buying, or selling of wildlife.
While the mission of the wildlife sanctuary is to rescue exotic wild cats from the wildlife trade and captivity, the aim is to enlighten the public about the plight of wild cats in captivity. This means that the wildlife sanctuary is also a learning center for kids and lovers of nature.
Some of the exotic animals that have been rescued and are now residents of the Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary include; lions, pumas, tigers, lynx, foxes, leopards, and coatimundis. The foxes and coatimundis are honorary species of the sanctuary. The ranch is located in Jacksonville, Florida, and serves Nassau, Clay, Saint Johns, Duval, and Baker counties. It has recently been ranked by TripAdvisor as the number 1 attraction in Jacksonville, FL.
The Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary was established more than 30 years ago as a dog training facility by the executive director and curator Curt LoGuidice. In 1982, Curt started working with exotic animals. The sanctuary received a state license in 1984 and a federal license 8 years later. In 1994, Curt was asked by the Florida Panther Project to be their local representative in Jacksonville. This is when Curt's rescue mission began as he was tasked with making educational presentations on endangered panthers.
Currently, Curt works with the USDA and attends conferences on endangered panthers. How also works with the Florida Fish and Game Commission.
The ranch is a charity registered with the state and federal governments. 100% of funds solicited from donors are used for the care of animals and are fully accounted for. The Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Conservancy has a team of volunteer veterinary professionals who come from as far as California to check up on the big cats and offer their services. Most of the vets, however, are based in Jacksonville, FL.
For another exciting adventure, check out Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens.