Center for Animal Research & Education, Bridgeport

The Center for Animal Research and Education is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to education, research, rescue, and long-term care for exotic animals. Established in Bridgeport, TX in 2003, CARE currently provides a permanent home to over 50 animals including snow leopards, mountain lions, African lions, tigers, black and spotted leopards, ring-tail lemurs and a coati.

The animals of CARE come from a wide variety of places. Some of the animals were abused, abandoned, or bred to be the pets of private collectors before they came to the facility. Others were retired from performance acts, acquired from zoos which encountered financial difficulty, or taken in from other sanctuaries that reached their capacity. Regardless of an animal’s origins, they are all given tremendous love and world class husbandry when they find a home at CARE.

The facility at which CARE currently resides originated as a commercial big cat breeding and boarding facility that provided healthy, sanctioned animals to performing shows, traveling exhibitions, and zoos across the world. As the facility grew, the capability to accommodate rescued big cats needing homes grew as well. As more and more cats coming from dire circumstances came to live at the facility, the facility directors shifted the focus of the organization away from commercial activity and started focusing more on providing a safe home to big cats in need. From this ideological shift, the spirit of CARE was born.

CARE continues to evolve in order to best serve our mission of providing a safe, permanent, and loving home to exotic animals in need. CARE focuses on excellence in physical and emotional care, advocating animal welfare through education, and conducting minimally-invasive research with the aims of improving living conditions for captive animal populations world-wide.

CARE provides a resource to the animal medical and scientific community for collaboration with study and research programs where the objective is to learn from the animals’ natural behaviors, instincts, and habitats, and to learn and practice techniques to enhance the quality of life in captivity.

The center also provides public awareness through public tours and events that focus on the issues faced when caring for exotics in captivity. CARE provides a safe educational and recreational venue where people of all ages can observe and learn from the animals.

CARE relies entirely on support from the public, no funding is received from any government agency. The tireless devotion of our 100% volunteer staff to the welfare of these animals is the foundation on which the center was built. It is the organization’s volunteers and donors who hold the hope and promise for the future of the magnificent creatures that depend on CARE for their survival.
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Center for Animal Research & Education Reviews
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29 reviews
  • My mom and I drove almost six hours just to visit this facility. I've never been happier to make a road trip. It was absolutely worth it. These animals are very well-loved. The tour guide was informat...  more »
  • Went on the Sunday 11 am tour. Dave is an awesome volunteer and tour guide with years of service invested at the center. It was so cool to hear stories of his experiences with these beautiful cats. Yo...  more »
  • What an amazing facility. I’ve never been to an animal rescue that cares more about their animals and educating the public. Please come visit and bring your kids and friends. You’ll be so delighted by the staff and how close you can get to the tigers, lions, panthers and other animals! It is worth the drive!!!!
  • We did a tour with Dave, he was real friendly, knowledgable, and helpful. We saw all the cats and it was a great tour. The grounds are well maintained for the cats, and we are happy that they are all so well cared for. The staff does a great job - happy they have been caring for these gorgeous animals for 20+ years. We'll go back soon

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Duration: 4​h
Duration: 1​h 30​min