I wish the pictures could translate the majestic beauty and grace of these tigers and Abu, the young lion. Yesterday we visited the Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary in north Jacksonville. This place is the # 1 rated TripAdvisor activity in Jacksonville and to my surprise few locals have visited. It's one of the first things I did when I moved here and since 2016, I've been three times.
Even though the animals are all in wonderful enclosures it still breaks my heart that they have to be in pens. All of the animals at the sanctuary are rescues. If not for Catty Shack many of these animals would have been euthanized.
If the tigers are sitting close to the fence of their enclosure, visitors are literally 5 feet away from them. Yesterday we were there right at 2pm most of them were up and about, some were sleeping, a few were quite interested in the jovial play of 2 or 3 small children that were in our visitors group.
The lion in the last photo recently joined the sanctuary in November of last year and the tiger population is still getting used to the lion being there. Three beautiful tigers across the way from Abu the lion, were keenly focused on the lion, watching his every move. As the lion paced back and forth, the tigers across the way would match his pacing. It was a well choreographed dance.
There are 30+ tigers and two lions. The tigers and lions eat 5 to 6 times per week and can consume between 10 to 20 lbs of raw chicken each feeding. You can visit the sanctuary during feeding hours, that is very exciting and a completely different experience. There is an onsite vet facility for the animals, they have a wonderful adoption program for individuals and corporate sponsors. Catty Shack is a 501 c 3 organization. If you are interested in the history and background, you can click on the link below.