Visitors stand eye to eye with big cats at Crown Ridge Tiger Tours in Ste. Genevieve. Four tigers and one lion, all rescue animals from within Missouri, live in a natural habitat. A 45-minute tour on paved walkways weaves through the 55-acre hillside site and stops at each enclosure. Guides talk about each animal’s history and unique personality. The cats range in age from 5 to 21 years.
“Our big cats look forward to Saturdays, when we have ‘bone day,’” said Jeri Meeker, program coordinator. “Visitors can watch as large, meaty bones are thrown to the animals. The cats extract calcium from the bones that also help clean their teeth.”
Tours emphasize habitat and wildlife conservation and preservation, and guides can open a photography platform for interested visitors. In the educational center, groups touch teeth, claws and whiskers; see numerous behind-the-scenes photos; or pick up souvenirs at the small gift shop.