Monthly Archives: October 2014

Letter from the President


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. 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.

Center Circle Gone-51539I 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

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.

Farewell to Kyle Jorgensen

Kyle123It’s always a sad time saying good-bye to the interns who have been a part of our team just after six months, but it’s even harder when they have been a part of the team for four and a half years. Kyle Jorgensen has been a part of Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge’s team since February, 2010, when he first arrived here for his first internship working with the big cats. Kyle is originally from California where he graduated in 2009 with a Zoology degree from Humboldt State University. He completed a total of three consecutive internships here at Turpentine Creek, then in 2011 he was offered a staff position and has been here ever since.

Kyle has played a very versatile position here at Turpentine Creek and we are all saddened that he will be moving on in October to new adventures. A couple of Kyle’s favorite cats are Sammy and Heather, two tigers that live out in our habitats. Kyle has always been available and ready to help out any way he could. All of us here at TCWR want to wish Kyle all the best in his new adventure. We all hope that he will always think of TCWR as his second home and realize that he can come back and visit whenever he wishes to. We’ll miss you Kyle!