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Big Cat Sanctuary Nias June19 .(C)

The Big Cat Sanctuary

Nature & Wildlife

The Big Cat Sanctuary "Protection is our Passion"

Providing a future for some of the most beautiful and endangered cats in the world. Home to over 50 cats including African Lions, Sumatran Tigers, Jaguars, Amur Leopards and Snow Leopards to name just a few, we are located in the heart of the Kent countryside in the UK. The 32 acre plot began as a refuge for big cats that had been rescued from less than desirable homes, the site has now become a sanctuary and breeding centre that takes a personal approach to their wildlife residents.

Our four pillars of ethos are welfare, breeding, education and conservation. The Big Cat Sanctuary does not operate as a conventional zoo but by way of personal big cat experiences, although we do operate under a zoo licence and we are regulated as members of EAZA and BIAZA.

Visitors learn about the work being done to save what are some of the most iconic yet endangered species on planet. The charity hosts a number of events throughout the year to raise funds and awareness of the in-situ conservation projects they support. The Big Cat Sanctuary is a leading conservation organisation of wild cats in the UK and are proud to have recently piloted an education programme within schools. With the knowledge and dedication of our Director of Big Cats and Conservation Giles Clark and the team, the facility thrives in its ethos to give the animals a fulfilled quality of life in captivity - stimulating them both mentally and physically.

With progressively more involvement in both fundraising and supporting conservation initiatives at The Big Cat Sanctuary, we also contribute to in-situ conservation projects around the globe. By securing a future for both big and small cats we are conserving and restoring the balance of the ecosystem in which predators play such a vital role. In doing this we are saving not just isolated species but our entire natural world.

The key issues for cats around the globe are that they are victims of habitat loss and degradation as well as conflicts with humans and the illegal wildlife trade. The aim is to reduce human/wildlife conflict - by pioneering and utilising various conservation techniques and strategies, ultimately mitigating the conflict enabling the local communities to coexist with the surrounding wildlife.

It is only with a dedicated holistic approach to conservation that meets the need of both wildlife and local communities that we will succeed in our quest to help save some of the world’s most magnificent animals.

The Big Cat Sanctuary operates by way of personal big cat experiences only, these include tours, ranger days, a selection of different photographic workshops, overnight stays in our luxury lodges and adoptions. This is our main source of funding and aids the day to day running costs of the site. The reason for this is simply to ensure our cats reside in tranquil surroundings and remain content, to aid our success in breeding contributions.

The Sanctuary holds Annual Open Days where they open the doors to the public, not just for people to see the incredible cats, but also to give an opportunity to get an insight into the global conservation work being done from the site in Kent. Tickets need to be purchased online, in advance from the website These are family fun days with arena displays of falconry and anti-poaching dogs as well as a variety of entertainment.


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The Big Cat Sanctuary Smarden Ashford
TN27 8PJ


Opening Times

Annual Open Days in July, pre-booking required

Accessible parking
Conference / Meeting facilities
Free car parking
Gift shop
Guided tours
Restaurant / Cafe / Tea shop
Restaurant / cafe / tea shop / catering facilities
Room hire for meetings and parties
Suitable for families
Contact Us
Ashford Visitor Information Service. Tel: 01233 330383 Email: