Jungle Cat World 14

Jungle Cat World

I had heard of Jungle Cat World many of times over the years, but I’d never visited the place before, much less knew even where it was located.  I had mistakenly thought it was up in Bowmanville and connected to the Bowmanville zoo owner who was caught on video a couple of years ago by Peta for whipping/”training” one of his big cats.  I was wrong, Jungle Cat World is not at all affiliated to this man or any cruelty and that was enough for me to seal the deal to head out for a visit.
On the Friday of our Victoria Day Long Weekend earlier in May, I booked the day off to have a four-day weekend, which was just great in my books and off we went mid-morning at the drive was about 1.5 hours away and we wanted to ensure we’d be there for the walking tour at 1 pm where the keepers walked around telling you about the animals all the while feeding them.

A bit of a back story: I’ve long since stopped going to zoos despite my love of all furry things.  I’d stopped going because it hurt me too much emotionally and spiritually seeing so many animals bored, stressed and/or neglected. Particularly it was the female herd of elephants they had at the Toronto Zoo (Thika, Tina and Iringa) that I was madly in love with that I felt so torn about. I LOVED visiting them but they had 8 hectares of space. Eight hectares of space  and these creatures can walk hundreds of kilometers a day. They’d sway, they looked bored and theyd been plagued with dropping numbers at an alarming rate.. They were dying young or for unknown reasons and one had even passed at an alarmingly young age for a captive elephant. But there was also a tragic accident where one female got fatally knocked down and died. It was something crazy like that, I suppose I could get my facts straight but I can’t be bothered. I’m just going off vague memories. After all that, it became a game of politics with the zoo and its board members, and it was, if you ask me, all about cents and dollars. They never gave a damn about Thika, Toka and Iringa. Anyways I’m off on a tangent now. That’s why I don’t visit zoos. I stopped years ago after I came back from the Amsterdam Zoo and thereafter when I said goodbye to the Toronto three.

Jungle Cat World

It all started with a German couple in 1981 adopting a lion cub and there soon after, a young female tiger.  There was much public interest in the area to develop a formal zoo and so, they opened their doors to the public in 1985.  (Originally it was called Orono Exotic Cat World and in 1989, they became a fully accredited.)

I And so I don’t go on and on babbling, let’s just show you some of the animals that we saw on our day there…


Jungle Cat World

peacock peacock peacock

goat rooster



JaguarThis fella was a gorgeous Jaguar but like most dark or black animals, they are extremely difficult to photograph.  He was almost a dark reddish brown and the spots were obvious when they caught the light.  This guy was HANGRY!!



Hyenas… They are not like dogs AT all.  I think one of the keeper’s said their closest relative is actually the possum.

They are really short in the body, almost hunchback, with these little pig-like snouts but in a way, almost cat-like.  Very strange but definitely cool. 🙂

leopard Leopard leopard

This guy was clearly hungry with his mouth agape and clearly getting excited for his meal that’s to come.  His lady friend waited patiently for her turn for hers.  I didn’t get a good picture of her because she moved too quickly.

bob cat

I’m pulling a blank on this guy but I think he’s a Bob Cat

chickens Ducks Ducks

Lots of chickens, roosters and ducks


Fox Fox

And last but not least, sleepy big cats. 🙂

Here’s some video of the animals I took on the day we visited:

Thanks for stopping by you guys! xo

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  • This looks like a neat place to visit! I love big cats! They look well cared for.

  • Kim Munoz

    Are big cats not one of the most beautiful creatures ever! I know you know I go to the Zoo quite a bit. And people always tell me that surprises them since I love wildlife and animals. I grew up on a 3 mile long island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. One of my first memories is my Dad taking me to the Zoo and being in awe that even on his shoulders the Elephant towered over us. I was something we grew up visiting, but Dad always made sure our visits were about learning all we could about all the animals we would never see back home. I catch myself giving the boys lectures on each animal as we visit them and sometimes I catch other kids and parents listening too. But my favorite thing is when the boys share their wealth of knowledge with others all on their own. A few years ago, Alex gave a kid a whole spiel about Rhinos being endangered because of “them damn poachers.” I didn’t have it in me to apologise when the kids parents were shocked by his words. I mean seriously damn them poachers! We did take the boys to the circus once. I have never been and we were given tickets. We all decided we never ever wanted to go again! Awful! I hope you have an amazing week love!

  • Most zoos in the US don’t have elephants anymore, I’m pretty sure. I know we don’t here in IL, because they die in those small spaces. We have a big cat rescue near here, in Wisconsin, and I love it. They have tons of space and they look playful and well fed and they seem happy. They can’t be in the wild since they were bred or raised in captivity, so this place takes them in and gives them a good life, which I appreciate it. It seems like Jungle Cat World does the same.

  • Big Cat World looks and sounds like our kind of place. How exciting that you got to visit! I really love all these photos you took, Lindsay. It reminds me of when I visited the Shambala Preserve in California many years ago. Shambala was started by Tippi Hedren (the actress from Hitchcock’s “The Birds”).

  • I feel much the same way that you do about zoos. On the one hand, I think it’s important to raise awareness of these beautiful and majestic creatures, but on the other, it pains me to see any animal held captive. But there are some places that really get it right and it seems that all the animals here are doing well despite their limited space. There’s just nothing that can be done about that unless they are in the wild, I don’t think.

    Your photos are all so beautiful–love the peacock, the tiger, and the bobcat!!

  • They do, don’t they? I was impressed with the facility, although I don’t know what they do with them all in the wintertime. I guess they adapt to our sometimes harsh winters? I haven’t a clue.

  • They’re beautiful and so majestic, aren’t they?
    I love that you’re trying to do your kids right by educating them and raising awareness. They are leaders of our future and if we don’t teach and share knowledge, all is lost upon our future generations.
    I think often many zoos it is all about dollar signs and less about advocating awareness, conservation and education. That’s where I have issue, and years and years ago the Toronto zoo had a great program but it fizzled and they had so many problems.
    What saddens me beyond belief is Lucy out in Edmonton. They have an old, sick gal out there that’s on her own that they won’t let go to a better place. It’s so disgusting politicians and the like fighting over these animals like they own them. They do, maybe in reality, but at the same time, these regal animals belong to ALL of us, ya know?
    I’m glad you’ll never go back to the circus; I think they should be banned and abolished. But I don’t need to tell you that or why, you already feel the same.

    Happy Friday babe! 🙂

  • Really? That’s interesting, I didn’t know that. I guess we were really fortunate (or idiots, whichever way you want to look at it) to have them. I loved them but it hurt my heart too much to watch them suffer. Eight hectares of space for a herd is a friggin joke. But they draw crowds which = $.
    The cats at Jungle Cat World sound like they’re in a similar situation as the cat rescue by you. They could never be released into the wild, so they care for them and give them as enrichment toys and the whole lot. I’ve seen some videos of big cats at other places and they are skinny, listless, ill, you name it. This place impressed me and I would definitely go back.

  • It was really enjoyable and I had a great time. They do behind the scenes tours and maybe we’ll do that next time around. They’ll let you in with the hyena (who apparently LOVES grapes), two foxes, and a few others. Obviously, they won’t let you around any of the big cats but how friggin amazingsould that be? I’m not sure if I’d crap my pants or if I’d be smiling like a 5 year old in excitement! Lol

    That’s so cool you went to Tippi’s place. There are some really great organizations out in California. I could honestly do all animal things and you’d never hear a complaint from me. 🙂

  • Im all for educating and creating awareness and just doing good with what you’ve been given. Some places are great and others, not so much, but sometimes it’s also a case of they’re doing the best they can for the cards they were dealt. Asia had some of the worst zoos, even private hotels will buy up big animals and drug them to perform or simply sit and pose for pictures with. That kind of shit breaks my heart.

    The one tiger was great. One minute she was just laying there, then all of a sudden she pounced onto that big concrete ball… the similarities big cats have compared to little wee kitties is adorable. I’m a sucker for paws in general but I looooove cat paws. They’re sooo big. 🙂

  • Did you ever read the book (also a movie) Water for Elephants? The book is unbelievable and really goes behind the scenes of circus life back in the 20s (I think….) but yea, that animal abuse 🙁 My heart can’t stand it either. And yes–it’s incredible when these big animals have little animal tendencies, isn’t it? <3 <3 <3

  • YES!! I did and I enjoyed the book much more than the movie but the movie was still good. It’s one of my fave movies!
    I used to share ALOT of cruelty stuff online a few years ago but had to stop. I’d be in tears every single day and my heart ached. There’s so much awful shit in this world and animal abuse is just one of them which breaks my heart into a million pieces.
    🙂 🙂 <3

  • Same. I can’t share that stuff anymore. Doesn’t mean I’m not aware, but it just hurts the heart too much and I’d much rather celebrate the happy tails that sometimes come out of those horrific situations of animal abuse <3

  • Absolutely. 😉 xoxo