Animal lovers will not want to miss a free event at Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary on Thursday.
The rescue organization will celebrate World Animal Day from 3 to 7 p.m. at Big Cat Habitat, 7101 Palmer Blvd., where dozens of exotic animals will be on display, elephant and pony rides will be offered and more. Donated will be accepted and distributed equally to participating nonprofits.
Visitors also may tour the facility for an up-close experience with the habitat’s residents, including tigers, lions, cougars, leopards bears, primates, birds, coatimundies, and many more animals, as well as a petting zoo, said Kay Rosaire, founder and executive director.
While there are tons of animals there, Big Cat Habitat kindly asks you to leave your pets at home.
World Animal Day is held Oct. 4 on the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi to celebrate animals and mankind’s special relationship with them, Rosaire said.
Organizations exhibiting and/or presenting at the event include :
Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium,
Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office K9 unit and Mounted Patrol,
Southeastern Guide Dogs,
Animal Rescue Coalition,
Humane Society of Sarasota County,
Humane Society of Manatee County,
Save Our Seabirds
Honor Animal Rescue,
Gulf Shore Animal League,
More information and current schedules are online at www.BigCatHabitat.org/Calendar or by calling 941-371-6377.