Public Education

Education & Outreach

Education is one of the most important things we do at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. Through educating our visitors, school children, and the general public we hope to spread awareness about the exotic pet trade and the struggles these animals face in the wild.

At the refuge

We welcome the general public to the refuge every day of the year (except Christmas) to learn about our animals. The refuge features a self-guided area and guided tours beginning at 10am every day.

The ‘Education Station’, located in our Gift Shop, contains items to explain our mission, including a variety of ‘touch and feel’ and visual displays, chewed up tiger toys, and facts regarding the Big Cats.

Keeper Talks are conducted on weekends and holidays by our Zoologists, Biologists, and interns to give visitors a 20-minute in depth review of a specific topic at the Refuge.

Group Tours

eureka-springs-elementary-2nd-grade-0379Visit the refuge and see the animals in person!

Schedule your class for a guided tour of TCWR and see the many animals that reside in our large, natural habitats! Plan a morning at Turpentine Creek and watch our tigers, lions, leopards, cougars, bobcats, black bears, and grizzly bear play, nap, and run in their large, naturalistic habitats! Groups will learn about the history of the refuge, facts about the animals, and how these animals ended up in our care.

A private group tour is great for school field trips, scout groups, family reunions, birthday parties, civic groups, or any group you are a part of!

Click HERE for the Group Tour Request form. 

Outreach Programs

Classroom Learning

Outreach programs provide off-site learning. Students learn fun facts about the species of animals that live at Turpentine Creek, as well as the issues these animals are facing both in captivity and in the wild. You’ll get the inside scoop on how Turpentine Creek staff and interns care for big cats, bears, and our many other exotic animals on a daily basis.

Photos, videos, and props, including real fur, whiskers, chewed toys, and plaster paw prints, are used as educational aids.

Program topics can be specialized for each group to work with the size and age of the group.

Adult Programs

Adults can get in on the action too! Need a speaker for your next meeting or social event? Stories of our ‘big cats’ are sure to ‘aww’ groups of any age. Programs can be arranged to give a general overview of Turpentine Creek or can focus on a more specific topic.

Booth Programs

Add a fun, educational, and unique twist to your next conference, fair, festival, or concert. Turpentine Creek Booth Programs help to spread awareness through photos, educational material, and props – including real fur and whiskers, chewed toys, and plaster paw prints.

Contact Ike Wever for more information about our many Education Opportunities.

Media Appearances

As part of our public outreach program, we have appeared, and continue to appear regularly on a variety of television stations: KPOM – NBC 14 and KFSM – TV 5, in Ft. Smith, Arkansas; 40/29 TV and KNWA, in Fayetteville, Arkansas; KOLR 10 and KY3, in Springfield, Missouri; KSN-TV 16 and KODE 12-TV, in Joplin, Missouri.

In addition we have made appearances on Good Morning Arkansas and Day Break – Channel 7, and KLRT Fox 16, all in Little Rock, Arkansas; and the Conan O’Brien Show in New York City, New York.

ESPN has visited and also aired segments regarding TCWR on their programming. Animal Planet and Real TV were furnished video by customers, which were then aired on their programming.

A TV Crew from Discovery came along on a rescue in Texas to be aired in a segment of their show “Wild Animal Repo”.

Independent photographers George Lepp, sponsored by Canon, and Daniel Cox of National Geographic have photographed our cats for a number of projects.