Felidae is the biological family of the cats; a member of this family is called a felid. The most familiar felid is the domestic cat, which first became associated with humans about 10,000 years ago; but the family includes all other wild cats, including the big cats. Extant felids belong to one of two subfamilies.



This includes the tiger, the lion, the jaguar, and the leopard.

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This includes the cougar, the cheetah, the lynxes, the ocelot, and the domestic cat.

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Species: Puma Concolor

Subfamily: Felinae

The cougar also known as the mountain lion, puma, panther, mountain cat, or catamount, is a large cat of the family Felidae native to the Americas.

Its range, from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes of South America, is the greatest of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere. An adaptable, generalist species, the cougar is found in most American habitat types. It is the second heaviest cat in the Western Hemisphere, after the jaguar. Solitary by nature and nocturnal, the cougar is most closely related to smaller felines and is nearer genetically to the domestic cat than true lions.


Sam is a twelve-year-old cougar who was taken from an unhappy situation by Florida Wildlife Commission when he was bout 6 months old.Sam was born without eyelids and with two retained testicles. Unfortunately, because of lack of care, Sam became blind in one of his eyes and has limited vision in the other eye. Sam had to endure 6 eye surgeries to create eyelids and to give him the limited sight he does have. Despite his infirmities, Sam has a wonderfully sweet nature and the biggest purr box in the sanctuary. You can check out more pictures of Sam and Serabi at the Sanctuary by clicking the thumbnails in this section.


Serabi is Sam’s best friend. She is also a cougar/panther who is smaller than Sam.Serabi loves to eat and so she is significantly wider than Sam. Serabi was permanently removed from her situation by Florida Wildlife Commission and an Alachua County Circuit Court Judge. She is younger than Sam and healthier, and she has been a great asset to Sam. She also loves attention and has a phenomenal purr box. Serabi is very friendly and has exquisite eyes that own you when you look at her.

Species: Panthera Pardus

Subfamily: Pantherinae

The leopard is a member of the Felidae family with a wide range in some parts of Africa and tropical Asia, from Siberia, South and West Asia to across most of sub-Saharan Africa.

It is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List because it is declining in large parts of its range due to habitat loss and fragmentation, and hunting for trade and pest control. It is regionally extinct in Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuwait, Syrian Arab Republic, Libya and Tunisia.
The leopard /ˈlɛpərd/ is the smallest of the four "big cats" in the genus Panthera. Compared to other members of the Felidae, the leopard has relatively short legs and a long body with a large skull. It is similar in appearance to the jaguar, but is smaller and more slightly built. Its fur is marked with rosettes similar to those of the jaguar, but the leopard's rosettes are smaller and more densely packed, and do not usually have central spots as the jaguars do. Both leopards and jaguars that are melanistic are known as black panthers.


Surreya is a spotted female leopard that came with Kumba. Surreya is playful, but constantly grumbles at the world She is much smaller than Kumba and is a constant character. In spite of her grumbling, she never attempts to be mean or bite.She just sounds big and bad for such a small cat. She is absolutely exquisite and delicate. She had three black female babies here in the sanctuary and they are three incredible characters. Even on a bad day they always make me laugh with their crazy antics. Mama Surreya puts them in their place when needed.


Sassafras, a young black leopard, is the absolute sweetheart of the sanctuary. A nicer cat cannot be found. She is gentle, loving and loves to be petted. She will allow you to carry her on your shoulders like a big scarf. Sassy is loved by all and loves everyone who works here. She is truly a phenomenal animal.

Species: Panthera Leo

Subfamily: Pantherinae

The lion is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg (550 lb) in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger. Wild lions currently exist in sub-Saharan Africa and in Asia (where an endangered remnant population resides in Gir Forest National Park in India) while other types of lions have disappeared from North Africa and Southwest Asia in historic times. Until the late Pleistocene, about 10,000 years ago, the lion was the most widespread large land mammal after humans.

They were found in most of Africa, across Eurasia from western Europe to India, and in the Americas from the Yukon to Peru. The lion is a vulnerable species, having seen a major population decline in its African range of 30–50% per two decades during the second half of the 20th century. Lion populations are untenable outside designated reserves and national parks. Although the cause of the decline is not fully understood, habitat loss and conflicts with humans are currently the greatest causes of concern. Within Africa, the West African lion population is particularly endangered.


Baby Lion is a two year old Barbary Black Mane African lion. He came here almost two years ago unable to walk, with twisted legs and humped back, in obvious and extreme pain.There are many young lions in numerous states around the country that suffer from or are being euthanized because of a neurological disease I call “wobbler’s syndrome”. Baby Lion was the worst case of about a dozen lions treated here at the sanctuary. With the aid of a poultry veterinarian and an animal nutritionist, I developed a protocol that has turned this young lion around and he is now a bouncy, happy, playful lion. He is still a little uncoordinated, but he is now almost 2 ½ and not showing any signs or regression. So far he is our hope for success in treating this syndrome. All the other lions either died or had to be euthanized by ages 9 months to 2 years. Baby Lion has a soft and kind face and adores to have his mane scratched.

Mya Pie

Myais an African lion who came here as a cute cuddly baby. She is Tigger Rose’s best friend and playmate. Mya came here to befriend a young male lion that was having medical problems and depression.Unfortunately, neither Mya nor I could help Mufasa so in the end he succumbed to his illness. Mya is one of the few cats that are not a rescue animal. She is now three and very big and healthy. Mya also shares Tigger Rose’s pool even though lions are not supposed to like water. Mya delights in playing with anything or anybody and would like nothing more than to sit her five hundred plus body in your lap.

Species: Panthera Tigris

Subfamily: Pantherinae

The tiger is the largest cat species, reaching a total body length of up to 3.3 m (11 ft) and weighing up to 306 kg (675 lb). Its most recognizable feature is a pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with a lighter underside. It has exceptionally stout teeth, and the canines are the longest among living felids with a crown height of as much as 74.5 mm (2.93 in) or even 90 mm (3.5 in). In zoos, tigers have lived for 20 to 26 years, which also seems to be their longevity in the wild.

They are territorial and generally solitary but social animals, often requiring large contiguous areas of habitat that support their prey requirements. This, coupled with the fact that they are indigenous to some of the more densely populated places on Earth, has caused significant conflicts with humans.

Tigger Rose

Tigger Rose is an orange and black tiger who arrived here three years ago when she was about three months old. She had been on an airplane from Alaska for 24 hours and had rubbed her nose raw. When she arrived in Orlando, FL her prospective owners did not have legal permits and she was going to be euthanized. A phone call later and Miss Rose was on her way to us. She is a large tiger with an exceptionally gentle nature. She will take a meatball from your hand more gingerly than any dog. Miss Rose is an avid pool freak and loves to barrel out of her pool and thoroughly soak anyone standing nearby. Miss Rose is our sweetest tiger.

Bigger Tigger

Bigger Tigger is a very large male orange and black tiger that came here with Torrie. Bigger is BIG and he knows it. But in spite of himself, he is often a big goof.He had ongoing problems with flies on his ears and defied our every attempt to put fly preventive on. Finally we devised a plan to put fly spray on his feeding platform where he happily rolls in it. We won that one, but it takes ingenuity to say ahead of these guys! Bigger is our biggest and proudest tiger. He’s willing to spray you with urine to prove it!

Three Tigers

Three baby tigers at the Sanctuary. Need to find out more information on them. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Praesent ut consequat velit. Ut id erat eu quam fermentum lobortis non sit amet neque.


Torrie is a small partly white tiger that came to the sanctuary with her companion Bigger Tigger several years ago. Torrie is also a gentle natured tiger that is now about seven years old.Torrie and Bigger Tigger are from the Florida panhandle and were both taken by Florida Wildlife Commission.Torrie is our prettiest tiger.


China is a petite beautiful white female tiger that came to us from Illinois. She had been kept in a small transport cage for 6 years and had lost most of her hair. She came to us with a less than favorable attitude. We soon realized she had not been exposed to a lot of things she was seeing here at the sanctuary and she was afraid. Slowly but surely she began to trust us and realize she was in a large cage with nothing that would hurt her. She started eating well and taking vitamins and now she has a lovely full white tiger coat. She also has a great attitude and now is a chuffing fool when we come around. Now she walks up readily to greet us. Recently she acquired a new friend named Teddy Bear. After putting him in his place, they are now getting along well and enjoying each other’s company.

Teddy Bear

Teddy Bear is a 6 year old white male tiger that came to the sanctuary several months ago desperately needing a home. He jumped off the truck roaring and fighting, but by later that day he had settled in and was eating like a trooper. He has a very calm, mellow attitude, but for several weeks he was very food aggressive. That aggression soon disappeared when Teddy realized he would be fed promptly around 4 o’clock every day. Teddy Bear has a big block with small teddy bear ears and a pink tongue that sticks out just a little. He has already put on about 70 pounds. If there was ever a tiger I would love to hug, it’s definitely Teddy Bear, but I’m not crazy enough to try that.


Gabby is a 2 year old black and orange female tiger that was born here at the sanctuary. She left us for about a year and half and returned to us about 2 weeks ago. We were all delighted to see her back. She is adjusting very well and has made friends with our big gentle Tigger Rose.Gabby was born about the same time as Sassafras, the black leopard. They were friends for a long time until Gabby got to big to be a safe playmate for Tigger Rose. Gabby was born about the same time as Sassy.Gabby is Tigger Rose. Gabby was born about the same time as Torrie's daughter and so she also carries some white tiger genes. She does have her mother’s gentle nature.

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