Monthly Archives: June 2016

Blood Machine Install

Blood Machine Installed in Veterinary Hospital

June 30, 2016

20160627_105246Over the past few months, we have witnessed our veterinary hospital project move forwards by leaps and bounds. It has taken a lot of work to get where we are, not just physical work but time spent on phone calls, going over contracts, talking to companies to find the best products for the best price, and so much more. Finally, we are seeing the culmination of our work, last week our blood work machine arrived. On Monday IDEXX sent a representative to make sure it was properly installed and taught our staff how to operate it.

Although it is not the final piece to the veterinary hospital puzzle, it is a huge step towards having the ability to perform tests and surgeries on-site. Before the blood machine arrived, we had to take samples over 40 miles away to our veterinarian, wait for him to run the tests, and then get the results, before we knew anything about what was going on with our animals. Now, we can run the tests here and get the results that much sooner.

20160627_144223The blood machine was one of the most expensive items that we needed for our veterinary hospital. But thankfully, the amazing people at IDEXX worked with us to get the best deal on it possible. They are very supportive of what we do here and are doing everything they can to make sure that we can take care of the animals we rescue.

We are getting very close to having the veterinary hospital equipment fully funded. We have already begun purchasing the equipment and every day it seems like new items are put in place to fill the wonderful building that will help us keep the animals in our care healthy and safe. We hope that you can join us either on August 18th for the Grand Opening or August 20th for the Members Only tour to see how your support has helped us see this dream of ours become a reality.

If you would like to donate and help us get the last few items on our list, please click here to donate now.

Grand Opening

Veterinary Hospital Grand Opening

For well over two years we have worked hard to finish the veterinary hospital project. It took some really amazing supports and a lot of hard work from staff and interns but the vet hospital is complete. We still have a little bit more to raise to finish equipping the hospital but we are close enough that we have officially set a grand-opening date.

Vet-Hospital-1172-smallWe invite everyone to join us on August 18th at 2pm for the grand opening. Witness our ribbing cutting and get the grand tour of the hospital. Although the ribbon cutting and grand tour will only last few a short period of time, we also invite everyone to take a tour of the refuge and visit with the many animals that we will provide on-site health care to, from now on.

On August 20th we will also be having a members-only tour from 1-4 pm. Members will get the option to take a more in-depth tour of the new vet hospital and talk to the staff about any questions they might have.

This building was built specifically to safely transport big cats and perform necessary surgeries on large animals. Most veterinarians don’t have the right sized equipment to handle our animals. Now all the animals at Turpentine Creek will get special health care that is just their size!

Please come out and join us on either August 18th or 20th. An on-site veterinary hospital is safer for the animals, staff, and public. We will be able to quickly transport animals for emergencies, to do blood tests, or even for initial intake quarantines.

Howling with Joy

Coyote Pup Rescue

June 23, 2016

Joy-2673On Tuesday, June 21, our newest rescue arrived at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. The tiny, 9-week-old coyote pup has already captured the hearts of the dozens of cat people that work at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge.

Although we are mainly a big cat refuge, on occasion, we do take in non-feline animals. We currently house 7 bears, 1 coati, 1 rhesus macaque monkey, 1 blue/gold macaw, 1 duck, and now 1 coyote. We are animal people and every so often a plea for help touches our hearts so much that we cannot turn away.

Joy was given to us by animal rehabilitator, John, who found Joy, sick, malnourished, and rejected by her mother. His initial hope was to return her to the wild, but the longer he had her the more he knew it would not be possible. After spending time at the vet, getting fluids and antibiotics, she finally was healthy enough to find a new home.

Due to her initial health issues and the fact that Joy is a melanistic coyote, meaning her fur is mostly black, she would never be accepted into a pack. A short, lonely life for a coyote. John didn’t have the area to keep a full grown coyote forever, so he reached out to us and we just couldn’t say no.

Initially, John raised Joy with minimal human interaction, since his original goal was to return her to the wild, so she is very nervous around humans at the point in time. We are keeping the tiny girl at Rescue Ridge until she has settled in a bit and grown.Joy the Melanistic Coyote

We will need to either build Joy a habitat or ‘fix’ one of our existing habitats for her before moving her out of Rescue Ridge. Coyotes are diggers so we will need to bury fencing in the ground so that she cannot dig her way out of a habitat. Currently, our only habitat that is this way is occupied by Flip, the coati.

We have time before we need to relocate her, she is currently too small to move into a big habitat. She is happy relaxing in her Rescue Ridge night house, with a thick shade cloth to keep her cool in the shade. Only a few people actually work and visit Rescue Ridge so her human introduction will be slow, helping with a less stressful transition.

Our supporters have also shown their love of Joy. Within 24 hours she already has a sponsor and several adopters. This little girl is quickly capturing everyone’s hearts and we are so very glad that she has joined the Turpentine Creek family.

Summer Fun With Water

The many different Pools at Turpentine Creek

June 14, 2016


Pools are a lot of fun for tigers, they love the water!

Pools come in all shapes and sizes! Big pools, little pools, plastic pools, metal pools, and even a custom built pool with a waterfall. Pools help our animals stay cool in the summer. Some of our animals love pools, others can’t stand water. We put pools in certain habitats, starting in late May to early June, depending on the weather and temperature. Pools will stay in habitats, all summer long, until the weather starts turning at the beginning of October.


Tigers and Bears love the water but Cougars, Leopards, Lions, Servals, and Bobcats are not big fans of water. Because of this, we only give pools to our Tigers and Bears. We do our best to make sure that our water-avoiding animals get plenty of shade, cool water to drink, and cool treats, to help keep them comfortable during the hot Arkansas Summer.

You might wonder why we have so many different types of pools; this is because all our animals have different needs.


Bam Bam in his custom pool, playing with his ‘iceburg’.

Bam Bam has a specially built pool that was donated during construction of his habitat. This big boy would never have comfortably fit in our regular pools, so a very generous donor helped pay for a custom made pool just for him. His pool requires a lot of maintenance since it has a waterfall. We would love to have big pools like this in all our habitats, but Turpentine Creek doesn’t have enough flat land in all of the habitats for pools of this size.

Our younger tigers and bears get big pools. Their pools are either made of metal or plastic. We cannot give plastic pools to most of our animals, they tend to destroy them very quickly. Many of our animals have sharp claws and teeth and just love chewing or clawing soft plastic. So, the majority of our animals get big metal pools instead of plastic. These pools are filled with cold water, toys, and treats. We make sure to change the water as often as we can to keep the pools clean and cool. Our tigers love to lay in them, swim around, and ‘kill’ watermelons in them. It is a lot of fun to watch.


Harley splashing in his pool.

Some tigers/bears, our senior tigers/bears, get shallower pools. Just like humans, older animals can get arthritis and other ailments that make climbing in and out of a deep pool difficult. To make sure these animals will still get the chance to enjoy a pool, we have purchased special ‘short’ pools that our senior cats/bears can easily get in and out of. We want to make sure our animals are comfortable and safe.

We are very glad that we can provide our animals with some cool summer fun. Thank you to everyone who has helped us give our animals pools. They are already enjoying them!

Celebrating Blues, Father’s, and Members

You are invited to Eureka Springs Blues Weekend, Father’s Day Picnic, and Membership Appreciation.

June 12, 2016

2016BluesTigerPoster1125X1725From June 16-19, Eureka Springs Blues Weekend and Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge are teaming up to host a plethora of seasoned award winning blues artists and modern blues newcomers. This all-ages event is great for music lovers both young and young at heart. Join us for a weekend of Music, Food, Fun, Drinks (for all ages), Crafts and Vendors. For more information about Blues Weekend you can visit their website at .

Click Here To Buy Tickets Now

June 19 is also our annual membership meeting and Father’s Day Picnic! The Membership meeting starts at noon. Our Father’s Day Picnic will run from 1-5pm. Everyone is invited to join us for the Father’s Day Picnic but only members can attend the Membership Meeting. If you are a card carrying member of TCWR you are also invited to join us for some exclusive members-only events! Anyone can become a member, family memberships include parents and their children, or you can get an individual membership! Memberships are only $90 for families and $50 for individuals, and you get unlimited entry for one year!

We invite members and non-members, to join in on all the Blues Weekend fun! Blue Weekend will feature live music, food vendors, and fun for the entire family. On June 19, members get into the Blues Weekend for free and non-members are only $5 per person.

So grab your sunscreen, shades, food, and family, and join us at TCWR for a fun and sun filled day!

Working With Bobby Bobcat

Introducing Bobby to Behavioral Training

June 10, 2016

Booby-4697Bobby the Bobcat, the 17-year-old blind bobcat we rescued from Ohio in January, is settling in at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. The beautiful senior bobcat is still very shy, only coming out when he doesn’t hear loud noises or lots of people.

The staff sees him, most days, early in the morning or late in the afternoon. He really enjoys his fire hose bench and laying in the shade in his habitat.

Recently, we have begun introducing Bobby to our behavioral training program. This program helps us observe our animals and make sure they are healthy. It also is used to enrich the animals’ lives.

Booby-4661Ivy, an animal care staff member, has been working with Bobby. At this point, Bobby is still very shy of humans so his training consists of Ivy tossing bits of red meat, his favorite treat, into his night house. She will then step back a few paces and sit down to wait. When Bobby comes out to eat the treats she will blow her whistle, to let Bobby know he is doing good. Every day she gets a little closer to the habitat, inching her way into his world.

At first, Bobby refused to come out until Ivy was gone, but slowly he has started to venture further and further into his night house to get the treats while she is present. She is happy to see progress with Bobby and believes with time he might progress further into the program.

These training sessions are very beneficial when it comes to observing the animals and making sure they are healthy. With Bobby training is even more important, since he is a senior cat and blind. We are very happy that Bobby is warming up to training and coming out where we can see him.

We look forward to watching Bobby’s progress.

Updates and Upgrades

On the Move

June 7, 2016

Thor-1639Donna, Pebbles, and Thor have been moved down to Rescue Ridge! We have been working on a project all winter, updating and improving our habitats. It is finally time to update the ‘backyard’ habitats, by the Siberian Suite, Bengal Suite, Tree House, and RV/Tent spots.

After a lot of deliberation, we have decided to move our favorite older ladies and beautiful king of Turpentine, down to rescue ridge. Construction can be very stressful on big cats, especially older big cats. We made the best choice for the animals we work with. Donna, Pebbles, and Thor will be happier down at Rescue Ridge during construction. They will have lots of space to explore and plenty of friends to talk to.

Donna_move-4385Once construction is completed animals will return to the backyard habitats. Until then there are still plenty of animals to see for our overnight guests. You can still sit out on your front porch and watch Lucci and Wyoming lions or Flip our Coati. We invite all our lodging guests to take multiple tours of Turpentine Creek during your stay to see all the amazing animals that we take care of.

Moving Donna and Pebbles was a bit of a challenge. How their habitats were originally constructed, we had to transfer the girls over to Thor’s habitat (after he had been moved already) and then take them out through Thor’s door.

We built a temporary, yet sturdy, transfer tunnel to help get Donna and Pebbles to Thor’s old habitat. Both girls loved exploring Thor’s old habitat once they got there. Donna easily loaded into our transfer cage. The trip down to Rescue Ridge was a breeze and she loves the shaded area down in Rescue Ridge.

pebbles_move-4348Pebbles was not to fond of the cage and it took a lot longer to get her moved down to Rescue Ridge.

Thor, Donna, and Pebbles are all settling in well down at Rescue Ridge.

This is only a temporary change and we will do our best to keep you up to date on the progress of construction. Stop in and visit Turpentine to see all the wonderful upgrades and improvements that we have been working on!