Local group tours unique wildlife sanctuary

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Two dozen Newcomers Alumnae members and guests took a private outdoor tour April 14 of Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary, which is run by a nonprofit organization. The sanctuary is home to tigers, lions, cougars, leopards, bobcats, arctic foxes and coatimundis.

The tour was timed to witness the night feeding, which follows a strict timetable. Background information about the animals was provided by Curt LoGiudice, executive director, while everyone watched the big cats devour 600 pounds of beef and chicken, bone and all. 

Catty Shack Ranch’s mission is to provide a safe, loving, forever home for endangered big cats, and to educate the public about their plight in the wild and captivity. Their primary focus is the rescue of cats from serious situations. Catty Shack Ranch does not breed, sell or trade any of the animals.

In 2004, Catty Shack became licensed and accredited to be open to the public. The organization strongly believes in educating children and the public about the dangers of owning these exotic animals as “house pets” and their plight in the wild. School tours are offered year-round, and the ranch is open on selected weekends to the public. 

Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary has its own medical facility on the property to care for the animals.  It has a group of very dedicated veterinarians and dentists who are committed to giving the animals the best care available.

Catty Shack is completely run by volunteers. They have no paid employees, so 100% of donations go directly to benefit the animals.

A thrift store onsite is stocked by generous donations from the supporting community.

This unique attraction is ranked number 1 on TripAdvisor under the Nature and Wildlife Areas category in Jacksonville.  

Newcomers Alumnae is a social group comprised of women who live in Ponte Vedra Beach, Nocatee, Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Jacksonville and St. Augustine.

Contact brookemeister@msn.com or go to newcomersalumnae.wildapricot.org for more information about the group.  

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