Monthly Archives: October 2017

Membership Program

New Tiered Membership Levels

October 27, 2017

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is thrilled to announce our new Wild About Wildlife Membership Tier Program! This new tiered membership program allows for our supporters to choose a membership level that fits their needs and get extra benefits as they progress through the tiers.

The program consists of four levels: the Friends of India, the Bam Bam Benefactors, the Kenny Fellowship, and the president’s club – the Hilda Jackson Society. Each is its own exclusive community that allows for donors to engage with one another, take home fantastic sign-up gifts, and support the Refuge in the most effective way possible. This will allow for TCWR to respond more quickly to the needs of the survivors of the exotic pet trade, and enable us to budget for larger projects, and projects that will have the greatest impact in the years to come.

By using a tiered model, the program will not only allow for donors of all levels to become involved but also, the membership donations themselves are funneled directly into our General Fund – allowing us to use funds where they are needed the most and when they are needed the most.

Turpentine is always growing and evolving to not only provide the best lives possible for our animal residents but to also make our supporter and visitors’ experiences better. We know that our new membership program will allow us to form a better connection to our supporters. We hope that our donors, supporters, and visitors will benefit from the new program and help us continue to provide the best lives possible for the animals in our care.

Click here to learn more about the different membership levels and sign up for your new membership today. Take a moment to explore the new Membership page and see what has changed. 

Annual Howl-O-Ween

Fun and Felines in the Dark

October 23, 2017

Ghosts, ghouls, and growls, this is Howl-O-Ween at Turpentine Creek. Once a year we open our doors to the public after dark and let them enjoy the animals when they are the most active. Big cats are nocturnal and diurnal, so they spend most of the day sleeping. This is a great chance for kids (of all ages) to dress up, have some fun, and of course get stalked in the dark by a tiger.

Join us on October 28, 2017, from 7-9pm CST for our annual Howl-O-Ween event. Everyone is invited to join us for an evening of fright and felines. Life’s no fun without a good scare.

Each year we put together a fun event for the whole family. Games, costume contests, hayrides, and a spooky-fun tunnel that lets you see the cats and creepy costumed team members handing out treats. It is a great way to kick off the holiday season and see your favorite animals after the ‘lights go out.’

We hope to see you here, if not this year than next. Make plans for a trip to Turpentine for the special, one night a year, event. It will be a frighteningly good time!

New Emergency Equipment

Animal Ambulance

October 17, 2017

Keeping our animals and team safe when transporting them around our property is very important to us. Recently, we were given the opportunity to acquire an old, used military Humvee. We purchased the vehicle and went about making improvements so that it would fit our needs. This Humvee will only be used on property to quickly and safely transport the animal from their habitat to the vet hospital.

To customize the vehicle for our needs we added a lift, cage, and lights. These additions allow us to safely lift and transport an animal that has been sedated. The cage was installed so that if an animal were to wake up from sedation during transport it would not be able to escape. Although no humans will ride in the caged area with the sedated cat, there is a small latched access door, within the vehicle cab, that will allow an animal care staff member to reach into the animal confinement area to check on the animal as necessary.

On our new animal ambulance, we have installed a series of bright lights to assist us in seeing if an emergency transport might have to take place after dark. There is also a flashing light to let team members and visitors know that the Humvee is coming and to move out of the way in case of an emergency.

So far, the ambulance has already been used to transport a few animals to our veterinary hospital. Moving an animal takes a little practice, this is a whole new procedure for us after all. Peyton slept through a short trial of the ambulance when she needed to go to the vet hospital for x-rays.

We are very excited about this new piece of equipment. Key members of our animal care team went through a short training session to learn how to properly drive the Humvee and how to operate the lift. We will continue to use the ambulance as needed to make sure our animals are safe and healthy at our refuge.


Goober’s New House

Donated Winter Home

October 10, 2017

Goober, our resident senior Rhesus Macaque Monkey, will be spending this winter living in the lap of luxury in his new heated winter home. Recently, a previous intern, Sara Steinbrecher, donated the funds to purchase and fix up a small portable building to keep Goober warm and comfortable throughout the cooler season.

Winter can be a harsh season for humans and some animals. Tigers, cougars, bobcats, and bears are adapted to the cooler climates and weather. Primates, like humans and Rhesus Macaque Monkeys, and warm climate cats like lions and servals, are not as well adapted for the colder weather. We do our best to provide our less adapted animals warm places to enjoy during the cooler months.

Smaller cats like the servals have heated dens and we provide our lions with plenty of warm bedding or a heated den if one is available. We do have a few full sized heated dens but not enough for all our big cats to enjoy, perhaps one day we will get the funding to heat all our dens.

Until this year, Goober has enjoyed a small heated den during the cooler months. We are really excited to upgrade Goober’s winter home to a spacious heated house. We also plan to decorate the house with a lot of enrichment items so that he can live like a king.

We will be building an overhead walkway for Goober to get from his current habitat to his new heated house. Even during the cooler months he will continue to have access to his habitat but will have the ability to spend as much time as he wants in his new heated home.

We are grateful to Sara for her generous donation. Goober will spend the remainder of his life living in a luxury home custom made especially for him. It is only with your help we can provide the best lives possible for our animal residents. Thank you to everyone who supports us. Click here to donate now and help us make sure all our animals can enjoy the winter in style. 


Fall and Felines

Changing Seasons

October 3, 2017

Summer is over and soon the leaves will change into a mesmerizing spectrum of color, painting the Ozark mountains in a beautiful array of vibrant reds, yellows, oranges, and browns. Current predictions for the peak of the fall colors this year is around October 31 – November 6.

Fall is one of the better times to visit Turpentine Creek. The animals enjoy the cooler fall days and many visitors find that the animals are the most active in the fall or spring.

The falling leaves also offer a fun seasonal enrichment for the animals that call our refuge home. The cats enjoy pouncing in leaf piles and our bears get a chance to forage and snack on fallen acorns. Seasonal donations also come in. It is a lot of fun to watch a big cat ‘kill’ a pumpkin, or Bam Bam try to use a pumpkin as a balance ball, only for it to get squished under his weight.

Our bears might be slowing down a little bit due to the cooler temperatures but they still come out daily to forage and enjoy the fading sunshine. Since we feed our bears year-round they never truly go into hibernation. They slow down and sleep most of the day, only getting up long enough to eat. This won’t happen until the end of fall or early winter. Until then the bears still come out to entertain our visitors with their funny antics.

We also offer a few unique activities during the fall season. On October 28, 2017, from 7 pm – 9 pm CST, Turpentine Creek will host our annual Howl-O-Ween Spooktacular event. This is the only time of the year that our visitors can visit the animals after dark. We offer a variety of fun activities for the kids, a hayride tour of our animals, and a scary stroll through our bear tunnel.

This year we are also having a special celebration on October 27th, 2017, at 1 pm CST, we will also be hosting a groundbreaking kickoff for our newest project, a new Visitor Education Center. This new center will include many things such as a small cafe, a large multipurpose room, a gift shop, and much more! This will help us accommodate more visitors and educate the public about the plight of big cats in captivity.

You can help us make fall the best season for the animals by donating towards enrichment or special treats for the animals. Donate now and help us, help them. Also, keep an eye out for fall lodging specials on Groupon! We are offering some seasonal discounted rates on Groupon. Those rates are subject to availability.

So, gather up your favorite Turpentine Creek hoodie, and make plans to come visit the animals this fall. If you can’t make it out then watch our Facebook page for pictures of fall enrichment that will be coming soon!