McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary

Two of the tigers at the sanctuary. (Photo/Kenna Beech)

Two of the tigers at the sanctuary. (Photo/Kenna Beech)

By: Kenna Beech

The summer of 2014 will be here within the blink of an eye. West Palm Beach, Fl., has an experience that will leave people ecstatic and it’s just a reservation away. It’s not only life changing, it’s also mind-altering.

McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary treats all forms of exotic animals. Each animal has a story. Some bring heartache, others warm the heart. The money spent by the visitors goes toward caring for the animals. Donations also support them.

Wildlife officers donate animals that are sick, injured, neglected, abused, or illegally owned. Cat lovers would absolutely go crazy with the total of twenty two large cats currently at the Sanctuary. The closeness of the animals creates an urge to reach forward and pet them, but this is not permitted for safety reasons.

“I want to go and lie on them, they look like cozy blankets, and they’re just so pretty,” said one of the tourists.

People who call and set up a reserved spot become a number of a small group to tour the sanctuary with an instructor present.

A big cat within arms' reach. (Photo/Kenna Beech)

A big cat within arms’ reach. (Photo/Kenna Beech)

Mark McCarthy, the owner of the sanctuary, has been working professionally with animals since 1972. He has had many of his animals in all kinds of commercials and even fashion shoots. He’s performed over 6,000 wildlife programs, reaching hundreds of thousands of students worldwide, and has even taken over 4,000 “and counting” animals into his own hands to care for them.

Depending on the weight, age, and condition of the animals, such as lemurs, birds, and an occasional big cat cub, visitors can handle them, but by reservation only.

This is a family oriented place, where new knowledge about animals, their care, and different college fields to go into to work with exotic animals is relayed. Any other questions are happily answered.

It’s a thrilling and close-up experience with all of the animals actually within arm’s reach behind a chain-linked fence. McCarthy’s Sanctuary deserves five out of five stars for its adrenaline pumping family oriented environment.

To make a donation or for more information, visit For questions or to make a reservation, call 561-790-2116.