Monthly Archives: September 2016

Lodging Improvements

A Wild Overnight Experience At TCWR

September 6, 2016

20160901_124501We do all that we can to provide our visitors with a fun and unique experience. Offering lodging on our property gives individuals and families an exciting way to experience Turpentine Creek. With each year we learn and find new ways to make the lodging experience better for our overnight guests.

A few months ago, we hired a new lodging coordinator, Bethany Courtney. Her love of animals and passion for people has prompted another improvement project for our lodging options. She has been working with Miranda Smith, daughter of Tanya Smith the President of TCWR, to update and improve our overnight guest’s experience. It takes time to make these changes but over the few short months Bethany has been with us, she has already made big changes to our lodging.

“I’m very excited to join the TCWR team. I’ve learned so much in the past few months and I can’t wait to see how our lodging improves,” Bethany said.

During your next overnight visit to Turpentine Creek you might notice some new services and features available. For our guest that are staying more than one night we will now be offering a tidy service to make sure you always have fresh towels, plenty of breakfast food, and of course fully stocked coffee after a long night of being serenaded by our lions. We also have fluffy new bathrobes in all of the rooms with our logo on them! We will be selling the robes in the gift shop for our guests who love them so much that they want to take one home with them!20160901_124442

We are also working on the aesthetics of our lodging options. The Safari Tents are getting new canvas covering and we replaced all the doors. We also built a new railing for the loft of the Tree House to make it safe for our guests.

This is only the beginning of our improvement plans, stop in and see all the changes happening not only with the animals but with our lodging and property as well!

Two Rescue Bears Arrive At TCWR

Popper and Michael Arrive

September 4, 2016

bearrescue-7839Early Friday morning, a big truck and trailer pulled into Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge with a precious cargo. Lions, Tigers, and Bears, an accredited big cat, bear, and exotic animal rescue, had arrived at the first drop off of four bears that they had rescued from 3 locations. Bobbi Brink, Founder/Director of Lions Tigers and Bears and her team were in the process of making a 7,000-mile round trip journey to rescue and provide transport to four bears in need of new forever homes. Turpentine Creek had room for two of the bears, Michael and Popper, the other two bears would continue onto a GFAS facility in Texas. Unloading the bears and transferring them into their new separate night houses went very smoothly. Both bears looked happy and healthy once they were out of the small transport cages and into their new night houses.


Popper checking out her new night house.

Popper, a 10-year-old black bear caught by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, was picked up just outside of Orlando at the Central Florida Zoo.  Popper was declared a nuisance by state officials after attacking a woman who came between her and her cubs. Typically, this results in euthanasia for the bear, but luckily Popper was spared.  Her cubs have since been released back into the wild, but Popper had to remain in captivity and was ultimately moved to the zoo, where she has been since late 2014.  Although the zoo has been very accommodating to Popper, they do not have the space to permanently house her there.


Michael taking his first step into his new night house.

Michael, a nine-year-old black bear, was the first to be picked-up from a rural backyard in Sasakwa, Oklahoma.  His human owner was no longer able to properly care for him and requested LTB’s help in securing a new home for Michael. Both bears are now living in their forever homes. They are already stealing the hearts of the TCWR team and we cannot wait to see them flourish in their new habitat. Please help us, help them. These two bears need Sponsors and Adopters so that we can make sure that they have everything they need.


Watch Popper and Michael’s arrival at TCWR – Full video

Surgery – Bad Declaw Fix

First Surgery Performed at new Veterinary Hospital

Sept. 1, 2016


Izzy during surgery

On August 24th, TCWR preformed our first ever surgery using the new Jackson Memorial Veterinary Hospital. Our first patient, Izzy tiger, needed surgery on her front left paw to help fix a bad declaw. We live streamed the surgery to all our Facebook followers and plan to continue doing so for upcoming surgeries and other events that happen at Turpentine Creek.

The surgery went well, Izzy had claw fragments, claw sheaths, and a deformed bone removed from three of her toes. Although the surgery took longer than expected, it went well and after two hours our veterinarian was finished.

We were excited to test out all the new equipment our gracious supporters helped us purchase. We even used our new scale to find out that Izzy weighed 271 pounds! And she is one of the smaller sized tigers at our refuge. We also utilized the IDEXX blood machine to test her blood, her blood test came back clean and let us know that other than her paw she was perfectly healthy.

Izzy has spent the last few days recovering in her night house. We made sure she had antibiotics and pain medicine to keep infections and pain away. After a week she is eager to get back out and play in her habitat. Soon she will be running around in the grass like a cub again.


Izzy 1 week after surgery

The local media was just as excited about our vet hospital grand opening and first surgery as we were. Media outlets covered both events and we were happy to answer any questions they had. Both the grand opening and the first surgeries were milestones in the history of Turpentine Creek.

We thank all our supporters for helping us reach this goal and look forward to a bright future with your continued support.