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Short Video about TCWR

A brief documentary about the people and wildlife at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Eureka Springs, Arkansas and its history of providing lifetime sanctuary to hundreds of exotic animals.
by: Charles Ragsdell, II

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Letter from the President

President - Tanya Smith

TCWR has experienced a beautiful summer. No 100+ degrees heat but even 90+ degrees feels hot. Our Team and the animals enjoyed the break from the 6 weeks of extreme heat we normally experience in the summer in the Ozarks.

Looking at the refuge I feel like we are at a standstill due to the eagerness of everyone wanting a new entrance area, gift shop, education center, café, veterinarian clinic, every animal being able to go out every day, etc.... but, actually, we are not at standstill; we are as busy as ever.

Center Circle Deconstruction-59777Due to us moving so many of the animals around we are excited to let you know of some changes. TCWR summer hours are 9AM-6PM. For your convenience, we have added additional tour times of our habitat loop. From 10:00AM-4:00PM hourly you can take the guided walking tour, and from 10:30AM-3:30PM hourly you can take the trolley tour. We start feeding the animals down the habitat tunnel at 4:20PM. Remember that when daylight savings time hits we will be closing at 5:00 PM and the tours and feeding times will end an hour earlier.

As I watch the refuge grow and evolve it makes me think back to when it started.

I came to Eureka Springs in 1992 at the age of 25 with my parents and my two small children. My eyes were opened to the fact that these animals need homes, a safe haven. All these beautiful, innocent, desperate large cats are not here by choice and need help. Endangered Species are declining in their native land. Here in the states they are overpopulated due to breeding facilities; and, after being purchased by private owners, many are being discarded and abandoned by those owners for a variety of reasons.Center Circle Gone-51539 I knew that if we don't save them they are going to die. My family sold everything and moved to Northwest Arkansas knowing that this part of the country has many benefits. Tyson Food's, Incorporated (the poultry, beef, and pork capital of the world) along with Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world, plus all of the freezer plants in the surrounding area could benefit our large carnivore sanctuary. These companies and institutions have been very good to our organization. With the University of Arkansas being based out of Fayetteville, AR, and four seasons of weather without extreme temperatures for long periods of time made this part of the country attractive. My family had also made a friend named Joyce Harvey on our annual family vacations to Eureka Springs. Joyce owned 459 acres with a home and a farm that she desperately wanted to sell. The rest is history. The large carnivore rescue business has not been easy, but I can truly say that I have not been bored. Time is going by way too fast. In the fall 2014 my grandson started Kindergarten. My son Victor was his age when we moved here. Victor and his family have become a vital part of the refuge.

I appreciate each of you that donate to help our mission. TCWR is a true non-profit organization that you can be proud to donate to knowing that 100% of your donation is going into the great care of these Big Cats and bears.

With our new donor software we are able to track the donations, gifts in kind, and other ways in which our supporters help us. I want to say thank you to the 20% of you who receive our newsletter that have made donations. To everyone else I ask for any help you may be able to provide. Together we can make a change in every life we save, but we do need your help.

I hope all of you enjoy the rest of the information filled articles and photos in this latest newsletter. I hope that you can come to visit us soon.

Until next time....


Say Ahhhh... Veterinary Expenses at the Refuge

Laurie Vanderwal - Assistant Curator

MEDSThe care of over 100 big cats is a 7 day/week, 365 day/year endeavor and includes looking after healthy cats as well as a significant amount of geriatric animals. This care includes cleaning and maintaining exhibits, assuring proper nutrition and providing enrichment and psychological stimulus for the animals, but just like with domestic pets, veterinary care is a vital part of keeping our cats happy and healthy. There is of course preventive care done on a regular schedule such as de-worming for internal parasites ($4/dose), control of external parasites through pest control and administering vaccinations (about $8/dose).

Being a rescue facility, many of our cats come in with existing conditions which require daily medications and supplements, including enzymes, thyroid medication, pain relieving and anti-inflammatory medications and other vitamins and supplements, including Vitamin B, glucosamine/chondrotin or cod liver oil. We have been very fortunate to currently have some of these donated such as enzymes from National Enzyme Company and glucosamine/chondrotin from Carlson Labs, but with so many animals and such large doses required, the expense for the other medications adds up quickly.

In addition to these regular preventative treatments, with so many animals there are inevitably other illnesses and emergencies that are also addressed. This includes administering antibiotics, running blood work or urinalysis, taking x-rays or in some cases surgery if necessary. All these expenses have added up to close to $20,000 in vet and medication bills this year so far.

To help us keep our cats healthy, please donate to the refuge today.


Wild At Heart Volume 1

WildAtHeartVolume1 copy

This is a volume of short stories about wild animals, big cat rescues, shapeshifters and anything that would showcase the plight of large wild creatures and their need to have safe homes and/or freedom. This anthology was produced by the Diamond State Romance Authors as a project of love to benefit the rescued animals of the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. All profits from this collection will go directly to the refuge to help with the care and feeding of these wonderful creatures.

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Wild At Heart Volume 2

WildAtHeartVolume2 copy

This volume of short stories includes a wonderful variety of contemporary and paranormal tales, and was produced by the Diamond State Romance Authors as a project of love to benefit the residents of the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. All profits from this collection will go directly to the refuge to help with the care and feeding of the rescued animals. The stories in this volume were inspired by the animals. If you enjoy them, we hope you’ll recommend the book to friends, and doesn’t everyone need to feel a little Wild at Heart?

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