Save The Date

25 Year Anniversary Celebration

February 23, 2017

Mark your calendars Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is celebrating their 25th anniversary on Sunday, April 23, 2017. Join us for a day filled with fun, food, family, and felines. Come and visit with the TCWR team, current interns, past interns, and many individuals who have made the last 25-years possible. Celebrate all of the accomplishments made over the last 25 years and see the amazing animals that have been saved through our mission and dedication.

Tickets for the 25th anniversary party cost $50 and will need to be purchased by Friday, April 14, 2017, if you wish to attend the event. The event will include entry into the refuge for the day, breakfast, a commemorative T-shirt, a habitat opening, the intern Olympic Games and more!

Click Buy Now To Get Your 25 Year Anniversary Celebration Tickets Now


Colorado Project Update

An Update & New Furry Family Members

January 21, 2017

Huggy, Holli and Lolli in their habitat in Colorado.

In September, Turpentine Creek took over a facility in Colorado. The previous owner had health issues and was looking for someone to take over the care of his 100+ animals. Turpentine Creek partnered with Tigers in America to take on the challenge that we dubbed “The Colorado Project.” For four months the Turpentine Creek team, Tigers in America, and many accredited sanctuaries throughout the United States have been working hard to care for and rehome all of the animals that called the Colorado facility home.

Members of the Turpentine Creek team have been very busy since September. Some staff members have temporarily relocated to Colorado to care for the animals living there, some remain in Arkansas to care for the animals that call Turpentine Creek home, and a few have spent the past four months on the road transporting animals to their new homes. It has been a challenge for our team, but we have persevered.

We have rehomed all of the big cats, only four remain at the facility, but they already have a home but still need to be transported there. Although both Tigers in America and Turpentine Creek have searched, we have not been able to find homes for five of the nine bear that called the Colorado facility home. After much debate we have decided that the best thing for the bear is to be relocated to Arkansas, joining the 27 other animals that Turpentine Creek brought from Colorado.

Koda and Xena in their habitat in Colorado.

One challenge that we face is the fact that all of our bear approved habitats are currently full. We have worked hard to prepare temporary housing for the five bear that arrived early Saturday Morning. With the help of our supporters, we hope to have started work on two new habitats that will permanently house our new bear residents. We will be welcoming four Black Bear — Holli, Lolli, Koda Girl, and Xena, as well as one Russian Brown Bear, Huggy. Holli, Lolli, and Huggy are all older and all live together; we plan to keep the trio together. Koda Girl and Xena are still very young, and we plan to keep them together as well.

With your help, we can provide all our new furry family members with amazing new homes before they wake up from their winter nap. Please donate to habitat fund to get the”The Bear Necessities” for our new bear to help us build them new homes.

Building two new habitats that are bear approved is estimated to cost approximately $150,000! We need your help to house our rambunctious sleuth of bear! Donate now and help us help them.

Click Here To Donate to the habitat fund and get our new bear “The Bear Necessities” Now (Donations UNDER $500)

Also, our Colorado Project Partners, Tigers in America, have offered to do a 50% match for all donations above $500. If you are submitting a large donation please visit their website and donate. Make sure to note that the donation is a Matching Donation for Turpentine Creek. Make your donation go further! Donate now!

Click Here To Get Matching Donation for “The Bear Necessities” through Tigers In America ($500 and Above)

Habitat Grand Opening

A Bright New Future for Four Big Cats

January 10, 2017

New Rock Bench and 3-tiered bench in the new habitat.

We would like to invite our supporters to join us on Jan. 21, 2017, at 9:30 a.m. for the grand opening of a new big cat habitat. This habitat, along with another that is still under construction, stands where the original enclosures were once located behind the gift shop. This habitat is a major stepping stone towards a bright future for all the animals that call Turpentine Creek home. It will be one of the larger habitats at the refuge, sitting on over 10,000 sq. ft. of land.

In September of 2015, the last animals moved out of the old enclosures and into grassy habitats. This was a milestone and a major accomplishment for us. Only days after the last animals were moved into habitats, we began demolishing the old enclosures with the ultimate goal of building two large habitats in their place. In late in 2016, we began building the first habitat on the settled plot of land. It is only through the generosity of our supporters, donations, and the team’s hard work that this habitat could be completed so quickly.

Lakota, Joey, Khaleesi, and Aurora (Not shown) enjoying their temporary habitat.

Four big cats Joey an orange tigress, Aurora a white tigress, Khaleesi a golden tabby tigress, and Lakota a male ti-liger, will call the new habitat home. These four big cats were part of the “Colorado Project.” In Sept. of 2016, we brought 27 animals to Arkansas from Colorado from a facility that we had taken over. The four big cats were temporarily housed in a cougar habitat until the new habitat was completed. We will be releasing the four big cats for the first time into the new habitat during the grand opening.

This beautiful new habitat has a large three-tiered bench, fire hose area, rock bench, and other engaging enrichment items to keep the four young cats entertained. Everyone at Turpentine Creek looks forward to seeing the many guests that will join us for what is expected to be entertaining event.

2016 Recap

Year-End Summary

December 27, 2016

So much can happen in only 51 weeks – the 52nd week is still ‘in progress’ only time will tell what will happen. This year we have been very busy.

The year started off well. We spent most of the winter and spring of 2016 fixing up habitats; raising fence heights, painting, fixing doors, building, etc., it was a calm start to what would be a crazy (but good) year at Turpentine Creek.

Only days after 2016 started we took in our first rescue of the year, Bobby the Bobcat. Half a year had passed before we received our next rescue call, Joy the melanistic Coyote was in need of a home in June, then Giselle the Serval in July. We also took in two black bears, Popper and Michael, at the beginning of September. It seemed like a rather calm year, until September 21st, when we took over a facility in Colorado with 110 animals. From September 21st to October 30th, we added 27 new animals to the Arkansas facility, bringing our total animal residents up to over 110 in Arkansas! We’ve also been working hard to find homes for many of the other animals that remained in Colorado.

This year has been filled with loss and gain. Old beloved animals have passed on, which breaks our hearts but it also allows us to open our hearts and home to more animals in need of new forever homes. It is one of the harder aspects of rescuing animals.

Click Here to Adopt or Sponsor one of the 32 animals that moved to Turpentine Creek in 2016

We have accomplished so much this year at Turpentine Creek. New habitats, a new veterinary hospital, new furry family members, and new staff members. We can only hope that 2017 will be just as amazing, if not even better than 2016 was. We hope that you get the chance to come out and visit Turpentine Creek in 2017.

As the year comes to a close, there is one last thing that needs to be done, end of the year giving. Turpentine Creek is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, which means your donations are tax deductible! Donations that will count for the 2016 tax year need to be submitted by December 31st.

Click Here to make a 2016 Tax Deductible Donation

Winter is a difficult time for Turpentine Creek. The cooler weather means that our bills go up, big cats eat more in the winter, dens need bedding to stay warm, not as many visitors come, less lodging guests stay overnight, and yet we still have to care for our animals and pay the bills. It is only with your help that we can continue caring for the animals that call Turpentine Creek Home.

We appreciate all your help in caring for the animals; it is only with your help that we can continue doing what we do.

Best wishes in the new year from everyone at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge.


Habitat Building

Progress on Habitats

December 19, 2016

Turpentine Creek has been hard at work the last few months. Not only did we add 27 new furry family members but we’ve been working hard to renovate habitats and even building two brand new habitats.

In September of 2015, Turpentine Creek demolished the last of the original enclosures behind our gift shop. All the old, small, enclosures were gone – symbolically ‘out with the old in with the new’ for our animals. The ground was soft from years of use, so we had to give the earth time to settle, dry out, and breath. After over a year of open space, we broke ground on two new large habitats that will stand in place of the old habitats.

These two new habitats will be some of the largest on the property when completed. They show how far we’ve come in the nearly 25 years we have been open. Progressing from quickly built smaller enclosures made just to save lives, to large open spaces built to improve the lives of the animals in our care.

Once we broke ground, progress was quickly made. The flat ground was easy to navigate and utilize heavier equipment to drive posts. Determined team members spent every extra moment cutting, bending, welding, lifting, and painting metal to get habitats built and ready for new residents. In what felt like the blink of an eye one habitat was nearly finished where nothing once stood. What felt like overnight a second habitat began to rise from the ground taking shape into what will become the lifelong home for rescued animals.

If the weather holds out, two beautiful completed habitats will fill the, once empty, space by spring time or early summer. The Turpentine Creek team is filled with hardworking individuals whose main goal is to provide the best housing possible for their furry family members. Thanks to our fantastic supporters we can continue building, improving and expanding Turpentine Creek, and provide excellent life-long homes for exotic animals in need.

Giving Tuesday 2016

A Day of Giving

December 13, 2016

The supporters of Turpentine Creek came together for an amazing day filled with fun and fundraising. Through the incredible effort of our supporters, Turpentine Creek managed to raise $8,195 towards our goal of $25,000. Although we did not reach our goal, it is still a wonderful accomplishment to raise over $8,000 in a single day of giving.

Winter can be a difficult time for nonprofits, like us. Winter is a slow season for visitors, and the bills increase to keep the buildings and animals warm through the winter. The money we raised during Giving Tuesday will help keep the TCWR family (animals and humans alike) warm through the winter.

Turpentine Creek would like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who donated, shared, or supported us in any way on Giving Tuesday. We also want to thank everyone who continues to support us and our mission to give abused, abandoned, neglected, and unwanted exotic animals a forever home.

Although Giving Tuesday is over, there are still many ways you can continue to help.

Giving Tuesday is running a #MyGivingStory contest on Facebook. Go to the Facebook site and submit the reason why you choose to donate to Turpentine Creek. The first place winner will have $10,000 donated to their charity. Click Here to submit your story to #MyGivingStory on Facebook. 

We have 27 new furry family members who are in need of permanent enrichment items. You can give the gift of fun by donating a boomerball, bobbin, or another enrichment toy. If you don’t have the funds to donate a whole toy you can make a partial donation towards a toy and encourage your friends to help. Enrichment toys can be found at or Sanctuary Supplies, and of course, you can also donate on our website and mention that the donation is for an enrichment toy.

Please remember when doing your holiday shopping, if you shop online through Amazon you can register Turpentine Creek Foundation Inc. as your Amazon Smile Nonprofit. Don’t forget to stop by and check out our Amazon Wishlist as a gift for the animals during the holidays.

It is only through your continued help and support we can do what we do. Thank you, and we hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

110 Animals Need Your Help Now

The Animals Need Your Help

November 11, 2016


Pandora at the Colorado Facility in her enclosure.

In September, Turpentine Creek took on the responsibility to care for 110 animals in Colorado. From that point forward their health, safety, and wellbeing became top priority to the team onsite.

The animals in Colorado need basic care such as daily enclosure cleanings, food, fresh water, veterinary care, and enclosure upgrades for safety reasons. It is only with your help that we can afford to not only care for the over 100 animals in Arkansas but also the animals remaining in Colorado. We must sufficiently staff both the Colorado and Arkansas facility to make sure all of our furry family members get the care that they need. Can you help? We went into this project knowing it would be a lot of work, and a lot of responsibility. The moment Tanya, Scott, and Emily stepped onto the property for the first time and saw the animals in need; we knew we had to do something to help.

Once the animals and property were secured, we began re-homing efforts. 27 animals came directly to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. From the onset, we also partnered with Tigers In America for help re-homing animals into GFAS and TIA accredited facilities. By moving some animals out, we were able to move the animals remaining in Colorado to enclosures that had proper shift areas and night houses, thus producing a safer environment for the animals and staff alike.

We need your help to care for all of the animals that are now part of the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge family. The 27 animals calling TCWR Arkansas home are in need of Sponsors and Adopters. Choose one below and help us, help him/her.


Amber, Aurora, Black Fire, Bosco, Chloe, Daniel, Donner, Fergy, Joey, Khaleesi, Kizmin, Lakota, Louisa, Mama Shakira 2, Marissa, Montana, Peyton, Pharoah, Poncho, Rocklyn, Roman, Savannah, Selbit, Shakira, Snowball, Tanya, and Thurston


All the animals in Colorado need support as well. We are working diligently to neuter the males that have access to females to stop the needless breeding. Many animals are in need of basic veterinary evaluations, and some are in need of more advanced veterinary care.

The animals in Colorado needed us, and although we knew it would be a lot of time, work, and money to do so we could not turn our backs on 110 big cats in need. Will you help us help them? Donate Now To Support The Colorado Project and All The Animals That Call TCWR Home


Working Together

petyon_blackfire_bbking_mack-8856Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge has partnered with Tigers In America for the Colorado Project. Tigers In America is offering a $25,000 matching grant to help us care for the animals involved in the Colorado Project. Make your donation go farther by donating now and having Tigers In America match your donation dollar for dollar.

Click Here To Donate Now and Get A Dollar For Dollar Matching Donation From Tigers In America


2017 Calendar Pre-order

2017calendarcoverOur 2017 Calendars will be shipping soon! Order yours today!

Click Here To Pre-Order your 2017 Calendars

Biggest Rescue In Our History

TCWR Acquires 110 Animals From Colorado Facility

October 17, 2016


Khaleesi, Lakota, and Aurora are trying to enjoy the shade in Colorado.

On September 21, Turpentine Creek took on our largest rescue, possibly the largest big cat rescue in the USA, when we acquired 110 animals from a facility in Colorado.

The previous owner of the Colorado facility was diagnosed with Cancer, for two years he had diligently searched for a group to take on the care of his animals.

Finally, he found Turpentine Creek and reached out to us. After a brief visit to the facility, by Tanya, Scott, and Emily, we could not turn down the opportunity to take over the care of these animals.


Khaleesi, Lakota, and Aurora enjoy their pool, in their new habitat in Arkansas.

We are very lucky to have an extensive network of past interns who are dedicated to the Turpentine Creek mission and have volunteered their time to help us. Making sure that we have people on site to care for the animals.

Many of the animals in Colorado need immediate veterinary care and we need your help to make sure all the animals are taken care of properly. Please donate now to assist in the care for all of our new animals.

Turpentine Creek has partnered with Tigers in America to take on the monumental task of rescuing the 110 Colorado animals, and we need your help.


Four Volunteer Veterinarians, 3 of which are old interns, performed emergency eye surgery on two tigers in Colorado.

In a single day, the number of animals in our care more than doubled. Enclosures in Colorado are in desperate need for updates and animals are in need of veterinary care. So much needs to be done before the winter weather starts in Colorado.

We need your help to make sure all our animals live happy, healthy lives, please click here to donate now to help us, help them.



Habitat Release Michael and Popper

Habitat Release: Michael and Popper

Oct. 6th, 2016

Michael and Popper, two black bears, arrived at Turpentine Creek early on Friday, September 2nd. The two bears came from two different rescues and were delivered to TCWR’s doorstep by Lions, Tigers, and Bears, a big cat and exotic animal rescue located in Alpine, California.


Micahel Bear in his night house.

Michael and Popper immediate went into quarantine in the night houses of their shared habitat. Michael and Popper will be alternating days in their new habitat. Before we released either bear into their habitat we need to complete a project, building them a new three-tiered metal bench. Our team got so creative they also added a hammock chair for the new bears to enjoy.

The new bench and hammock chair were completed at the end of September and on Wednesday, Oct. 5th Michael took his first steps into their new habitat. His habitat release was broadcast live on Facebook for the world to witness. Click Here to View Video On Facebook

At first, Michael was hesitant to enter the strange new territory, but with a little bribing (sweet snacks) he ventured out into the unknown. Michael spent the whole day going in and out of his new habitat area.


Popper’s first steps into her habitat.

The following day, after securing Michael into his night house, it was Popper’s turn to explore their habitat. Popper was also a little reluctant at first but it took a lot less time and convincing to get her out into the grass.

Now that their quarantine period is up and their new bench is completed Popper and Michael will continue to alternate days using the habitat. These two beautiful bears will spend their days laying in the sunshine and enjoying all the enrichment that our team provides them.

We are so very glad that Popper and Michael are a part of the TCWR family. We need your help to take care of Popper and Michael as well as all the other rescues at TCWR. Please click here to visit our Sponsor and Adoption page to learn more about how you can help.

Lodging Improvements

A Wild Overnight Experience At TCWR

September 6, 2016

20160901_124501We do all that we can to provide our visitors with a fun and unique experience. Offering lodging on our property gives individuals and families an exciting way to experience Turpentine Creek. With each year we learn and find new ways to make the lodging experience better for our overnight guests.

A few months ago, we hired a new lodging coordinator, Bethany Courtney. Her love of animals and passion for people has prompted another improvement project for our lodging options. She has been working with Miranda Smith, daughter of Tanya Smith the President of TCWR, to update and improve our overnight guest’s experience. It takes time to make these changes but over the few short months Bethany has been with us, she has already made big changes to our lodging.

“I’m very excited to join the TCWR team. I’ve learned so much in the past few months and I can’t wait to see how our lodging improves,” Bethany said.

During your next overnight visit to Turpentine Creek you might notice some new services and features available. For our guest that are staying more than one night we will now be offering a tidy service to make sure you always have fresh towels, plenty of breakfast food, and of course fully stocked coffee after a long night of being serenaded by our lions. We also have fluffy new bathrobes in all of the rooms with our logo on them! We will be selling the robes in the gift shop for our guests who love them so much that they want to take one home with them!20160901_124442

We are also working on the aesthetics of our lodging options. The Safari Tents are getting new canvas covering and we replaced all the doors. We also built a new railing for the loft of the Tree House to make it safe for our guests.

This is only the beginning of our improvement plans, stop in and see all the changes happening not only with the animals but with our lodging and property as well!