Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh Really! Visiting the Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary

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!