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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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Elusive Bobcats Experience Habitat Freedom

Laurie Vanderwal - Assistant Curator

Tiger1On 4th of July weekend, Tiger and L'il Miss were able to experience a little bit of their own independence in a brand new habitat area. In preparation, they were both sedated about a week prior to their release and moved to their lockdown areas in order to allow them some time to acclimate to their new surroundings. While sedated, full physical checks were performed (they are both in excellent health) and Tiger was neutered in anticipation of a possible introduction in the future. Despite the acclimation time, they remained shy up to their release day.

On the big day, we had a great turn-out including Dave and Sharon Holladay, the "bobcat angels," whose generous donation made these habitats possible. To show our gratitude for their generosity , they were given the honor of opening the doors to release these cats into their natural habitat areas but the cats had their own ideas. Neither Tiger nor L'il Miss were quick to venture out into their habitats, but after a little time, when much of the crowd had dispersed, Tiger did do a little exploring and comfortably planted himself in grass under one of his logs. L'il Miss, being originally born in the wild, was more cautious and did not leave the safety of her den until the next day when she was spotted laying atop one of her perches.

At the refuge, the goal is to provide all of our rescues with great areas to live in but allow them to choose when they want to be adventurous and when they want to be shy. Bobcats are naturally nocturnal; and even though both Tiger and L'il Miss have been quite elusive during the day, we have found plenty of evidence of them all over the habitats and know they have ventured out on their own terms in the privacy of the night.

Wanoka (another bobcat) and Bowden (an African Serval) are the last small cats still living in small concrete cages. Help us to raise the needed funds to build habitats for these 2 deserving cats and to continue providing amazing natural areas for all of the cats at the refuge.


Letter from the Curator

Emily McCormack - Curator

There are more than 5,000 tigers in the United States and only 3,200 exist in the wild. This is a shocking statistic. It is a result of unrestricted tiger breeding and the extremely relaxed buying market. Breeders have been profiting for more than 30 years selling tigers and other big cats to private individuals. The lack of laws has also allowed the number of unwanted tigers to increase. Sanctuaries were formed to take in these unwanted or abused big cats; and sanctuaries including Turpentine Creek stay full due to the high demand of rescues.

Tigers in America is a non-profit organization that started in 2011. The goals and mission of this foundation are to identify the best tiger sanctuaries in the country and support their rescue efforts. They also help support the construction of new enclosures so that these sanctuaries can rescue more tigers in need. They are focused on raising awareness of the general public about the big cat crisis in America.

Tigers in America formed after a crisis when a sanctuary in Texas went bankrupt and over 100 animals were in need of a new home. At that time there was more than 130 organizations listed as sanctuaries for tigers in the United States. While trying to finds homes for these tigers, the people at Tigers in America sadly and quickly realized there is no restriction on the use of the word 'sanctuary.' They started their own investigation to find true sanctuaries and compiled a list of the top 12 sanctuaries based on strict guidelines. Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is proud to be one of those 12 best sanctuaries in the United States.

On January 1, 2014, Tigers in America started a matching campaign to fund habitats for TCWR. The target was $22,000. Twelve days after the campaign started the goal was exceeded. Due to your support on the campaign, we received a check for $66,181 funding three habitats for our cats! The first one built was for Zeus and Ava, which we opened on May 31st. We are pleased to announce that we broke ground on the second habitat and that it will be a new forever home for Rayn! Thank you to Tigers in America for all of your support helping build a piece of tiger freedom!

 TIA Habitat Map


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

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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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