Bear Necessities Needed

Weekly E-Newsletter

Your Furry Friends Need Your Help Now

March 22, 2017

Construction Begins on 2 New Bear Habitats

Our newest bear residents are eagerly awaiting the completion of their new homes. These new habitats will be permanent housing for the five bears from Colorado and possibly other bears that call Turpentine Creek home. Currently, the new bears are living in altered big cat habitats, but this is only a temporary housing solution for our bears.

Bear habitats have different requirements than big cat habitats. We also want to make sure our bears get the chance to be as wild as possible in captivity. Giving our animals the best lives possible in captivity is why we are taking on the massive challenge to build our two largest habitats to date!

So far, we have raised just over $31,000 of the $150,000 needed to complete the two habitats. Although we have a long way to go on fundraising, we have already begun building the two habitats. We will construct the habitats gradually as the funds become available, that way the habitats are completed as soon as possible.


Cats at the Castle: Filling up FAST!

Cats at the Castle is a beautifully, elegant event that allows our supporters to spend an evening with some of the Turpentine team and your fellow animal-loving supporters.

This annual fundraiser combines the beauty of Castle Rogues Manor, amazing food, drinks, music, live and silent auctions to offer you an amazing evening to support Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge.

Space is limited and almost sold out! If you want to join us for the 2017 Cats at the Castle event reserve your spot now while there is space left.

Click Here To Get Your Tickets Now To Cats at the Castle

 Cat of the week: Sadie Bobcat

Sadie was brought to TCWR on July 10, 2001, at the age of 2-months-old. Her previous owners had found her in the woods near their home, lingering by her mother who had been shot and killed.

Having previously raised a bobcat kitten, they attempted to raise her as well. They soon discovered, however, that little Sadie was wilder than they had anticipated, and was a danger to their young child.

Today, Sadie lives in a habitat with Dillian and is known to have a mind for mischief. Exceptionally playful, Sadie is very affectionate toward certain members of staff. This beautiful girl is the queen of her habitat and loves to claim the highest perches for herself.

Sadie and many of our other animal residents are still in need of adopters. Some even still need sponsors. Our adoption and sponsorship programs help us to give the animals that call Turpentine Creek home the best lives possible in captivity. Please consider adopting or sponsoring one of the many animals that call Turpentine Creek home.

Upcoming Events At Turpentine Creek

This Saturday March 25, 2017, from 10 am until 4 pm Turpentine Creek will be hosting our animal Kite Fest. It is free to join the festivities and fly kites but to see the animals is normal entry fees.

Thursday April 6, 2017, All Day. Join us for Arkansas Gives day. Everyone is invited to join us for a day of online fun and fundraising for TCWR. Click Here For More Info On Arkansas Gives Day

Saturday April 22, 2017, starting at 6:30 pm, join us for Cats at the Castle, an evening of fun, food, fundraising, and festivities. Click Here To Get Your Tickets For Cats At The Castle Now – Limited availability

Sunday April 23, 2017, starting at 9am join us for our 25-year anniversary celebration! We will be having a light breakfast, commemorative t-shirts, a habitat opening, fun, games, and intern Olympics. Click Here for more information about our 25-year Anniversary and to get your tickets now

Boomerball Bobbin Donation

Enrichment Donation

March 14, 2017

The owners of Boomer Ball stopped by Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge to visit and donate two bobbin toys to the animals at Turpentine Creek. Turpentine Creek purchases large permanent enrichment from Boomer Ball frequently. These huge toys are made specifically with tigers and other large animals in mind. The hard toys are made to stand up to sharp claws and powerful teeth for an extended period of time.

The Turpentine Creek staff decided to give one of the newly donated toys to Khaleesi, Joey, Aurora, and Lakota. They were given a bright yellow bobbin to play with. Watch the video and see how much the animals appreciate the donation!


Permanent enrichment is vital to the mental and physical health of the animals that call Turpentine Creek home. Donations of Boomer balls, bobbins, and other enrichment toys help keep our animals entertained and healthy.

If you would like to provide permanent enrichment for one of the many animals that call Turpentine Creek home you can donate through directly.

Toy recommendations: Big Animals – Jungle Ball – $140 Large Heavy Duty Bobbin – $100

Small Animals – Heavy Duty Small Ball – $48 Small Heavy Duty Bobbin – $60

Cats At The Castle

Annual Fundraising Event

March 13, 2017

Join us on Saturday, April 22nd at 6:30 pm for our annual Cats at the Castle fundraising event. This year Cats at the Castle will be held at Castle Rogues Manor just off of Highway 187 in Beaver, Arkansas. Be ready for a night of glam as we celebrate our 25th year rescuing in style with a “Hollywood” themed event. Walk down the red carpet and into an evening of elegance, but watch out for the paparazzi!

Enjoy a fun-filled evening out with the Turpentine Creek team members and other Turpentine Creek supporters. Spend the evening listening to the live band and eating great food with your fellow animal lovers. You can also participate in the evening’s silent auction as well as a live auction, proceeds from both auctions will go back to the refuge to help care for the animals that call Turpentine Creek home. Tickets are very LIMITED so get your tickets now while they last, every year we sell out. Tickets for Cats at the Castle are $100 per person.

This year we are also celebrating our 25th-anniversary rescuing animals in need. On Sunday, April 23rd starting at 9:00 am we are also hosting our 25-year celebration, at Turpentine Creek. For those individuals who wish to attend Cats at the Castle and the 25-year celebration, you can purchase a single ticket for $140 and get entry into both events.

The 25th-anniversary party will start at 9:00 am with a light breakfast. A commemorative t-shirt, breakfast, and entry into the refuge are included in your 25th-anniversary ticket price.

Purchase your tickets now while they are still available. Once sold out no more tickets will be available.

CATC Ticket Options

*The Deluxe Weekend Package includes Tickets into BOTH Cats at the Castle and the 25 Year Celebration. You do NOT need to purchase Cats at the Castle or 25 Year Tickets IF you purchase a Deluxe Weekend Ticket.

** Tickets to Cats at the Castle are Limited. Once The tickets are sold out both the Cats at the Castle and the Deluxe Weekend Package will be removed.


Colorado Project Complete

15 Sanctuaries – 25 Road Trips – 115 Exotic Animals Saved

February 28, 2017

Joey, Khaleesi, Lakota and Aurora’s (not pictured) enclosure at Colorado Facility

In just under five months Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, a big cat rescue located in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, spearheaded the rehoming of 115 animals that were involved in our Colorado Project.

This project was the largest joint effort to rehome big cats in U.S. history. The joint effort of 15 sanctuaries and Tigers In America, a non-profit that assists in the relocation of animals in need to true sanctuaries, made it possible to save 115 animals. This scale of collaboration between sanctuaries has never been done before.

The Colorado Project began on September 21, 2016, when TCWR took over a facility in Colorado. The previous owners were ill and searching for someone to take over the care of their 115 animals. TCWR stepped up and purchased the land, and the animals were donated.

Joey, Khaleesi, and Aurora at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

The final four big cats were delivered safe and sound to their new home at a sanctuary in California on February 10, 2017, just before Valentine’s Day. 73 animals were in their new homes by Thanksgiving, 25 by Christmas and 17 were home before Valentine’s day.

In total, TCWR found homes in 15 sanctuaries, including our own, for 74 tigers, five lions, two ligers, one ti-liger, six leopards, five cougars, two bobcats, one serval, two coatimundis, two caracals, nine bear, and two lemurs. Also, three rented Alligators were returned to their owner, and one wolf hybrid found a new home.

“Our team was honored to spearhead this massive relocation of the 115 animals. We couldn’t have completed the Colorado Project without the help of our partners on this project, Tigers in America, or the 14 other sanctuaries who opened their hearts to the many animals in need,” said Tanya Smith, President of TCWR.

Montana and his brother Poncho’s (Not pictured) enclosure at Colorado Facility

For the duration of the five-month-long project President, Tanya Smith, Vice-President, Scott Smith, one of the senior Animal Care Staff members, and three interns lived in Colorado caring for the animals and helping to move them to their new homes. The remaining TCWR team members stayed in Arkansas to care for the animals at the TCWR facility and keep the non-profit running. Now that the project is complete and all 115 animals have new homes the staff members have returned to Arkansas.

“Although we might have been divided by distance, we were still united in spirit and heart. Everyone continued to keep the mission in mind as they put in long hours to make sure every animal was cared for at both locations. It was a lot of work, but we have a very dedicated team. Finally, the family has been reunited, and we can return to normal, at least until the next rescue begins,” said Emily McCormack, Animal Curator at TCWR.

Montana and Poncho at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

Over 40 of the 115 animals that were rehomed have health issues. TCWR took in 3 young white tiger cubs that have Metabolic Bone Disease. Upon TCWR’s arrival at the Colorado Facility, none of the cubs could walk. With extra care, a specialized diet, and constant monitoring, the three cubs now run, play, and wrestle. They will always have some issues due to the Metabolic Bone Disease but should live full lives at TCWR.

With the completion of the Colorado Project, no animals remain at the facility in Colorado and the plan is to leave it closed. Plans for the property are still being discussed, but as of now, there are no plans to return animals to the property.

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!


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.