Ever what happens to bears who need to retire from the circus? Or tigers who are no longer star quality for the movies? The lucky ones end up in a wildlife sanctuary, like the Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary and Rehabilitation Center in Punta Gorda, Florida. It's a bit like a retirement facility for exotic animals.
Yes, lions, tigers and bears are there, along with other critters like Death Valley burros (brought back memories of the park!), a de-scented skunk, cougars, monkeys and other exotic critters.
The animals are in very clean cages and have access to fresh water in the Florida heat. What I really liked about the zoo were all the quirky-kitsch statues and nooks around. A nativity scene was set up in one corner while a Buddha sculpture rested somewhere else. A little gnome was in another corner and fairies were tucked into nooks. Not sure if they mean anything but they are fun.
It's a fun place and would be great for kids. Check it out!