Monthly Archives: February 2018

New Education Programing

Outreach and Education Events

February 26, 2018

Turpentine Creek is thrilled to announce our new educational program starting next month! Join us on March 3rd from 12:10 – 3:30 pm at the refuge for a fun-filled celebration on World Wildlife Day.

In addition to our outreach program in partnership with schools and our booth presentations, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is proud to announce the start of our onsite educational program, which will enrich visitors’ experience and show how you become advocates for these wonderful animals both in captivity and the wild!

Our new education programs will focus on different topics throughout the year, with special emphasis on the interdependence of the web-of-life. We’ll talk about the richest biodiversity places on earth and tell you how to help save them: Everything from introducing you to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo App that will help you identify which products use sustainable palm oil and which to avoid, helping preserve orangutans and other species native to palm forests, to showing you which companies have begun their own palm farms to preserve wild habitats. Did you know that an action as simple as refusing a plastic straw for your beverage or using a cloth shopping bag could have an enormously positive effect on our environment? Join us and find out why!

Topics will include awareness of the Exotic Pet Trade, its negative impact on both captive and wild species, and how you can join us in putting an end to this practice in the United States with HR1818.  Not only will we fill you in on what this important legislation will do for the big cats but we will also show you how easily you can become a voice for them by sending an email to your Representative with a two-minute visit to our website.

These exciting educational opportunities will be offered in weekly programs, guided tours, summer day camps, workshops, volunteer enrichment days and special World Wildlife Day programs to kick things off on March 3rd!  

Check out the new education section of our website for full calendar and details of each presentation to find the one that will help you reach your own goals in becoming an environmentalist! Learn more about these magnificent big cats, bears, and other exotic species, how you can make a difference in their lives, and join other advocates to preserve these species in the wild as well as sustain our environment for generations to come!

Keep an eye on the education section as we continue to add to the information there and add new education programming events! We cannot wait to see you here.

Blog Written By Stewardship Intern Sandra Ames

Big Cat Advocacy

YOU Can Make a Difference!

February 20, 2018

There are thousands of animal lovers across the country advocating for big cats today, and you can too! Join Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in our fight to put a stop to the exotic animal trade and help us help them. 

At TCWR we are always striving to improve on ways to advocate for the big cats, bears, and other exotic animals who have not been fortunate enough to be rescued by an accredited sanctuary. This month we have a new addition to our website, an advocacy page, which will make it easier than ever to become a voice for the big cats!  With an estimated 10-20,000 big cats living in backyards, roadside zoos, circuses, cub petting and breeding operations right now, there is no time to waste!  Act now to help end the exploitation and endless suffering of these innocent wild ones!

Click Here To Change Lives Now

It only takes a minute to fill out our form and click to join the thousands of animal advocates across the country lobbying our representatives to pass HR1818 before the end of 2018.

HR1818 will not only protect the rights of these innocent wild ones, but also protect your family from harm. Many big cats are being kept in unsafe cages in homes and backyards across the United States, with injury or death possible for both humans and the animal as a big cat matures.

What will HR1818 do?  It will force owners of big cats to register their animals, giving us a true count of how many exist in private ownership across the country.  The bill will also end unregulated breeding, which allows the inbreeding currently responsible for many of the genetic defects causing deformities, which can severely impact the animal’s quality of life.   In addition, it will put an end to cub petting, or pay-to-play schemes for money where cubs are taken from their mothers at birth, depriving them of proper nutrition to be roughly handled every day of their often-short lives; once their wild natures make them unsafe to handle at less than three months age they are often abandoned or euthanized.  Lastly, restricting public interaction will greatly help to reduce the number of injuries and deaths caused by adult big cats.

Why is it vital to pass HR1818?  Let these animals’ stories speak for them: Click Here To Learn More

By ending the unregulated breeding and eventually future private ownership, this bill will help put a stop to the exotic animal trade forever.

With just a few simple clicks you can help save lives and end the endless suffering of thousands of big cats and help protect those still in the wild! Together we can do this!

Click Here To Stop The Abuse of Big Cats Nationwide

Blog Written By Stewardship Intern Sandra Ames

Payson Arrives

Newest Furry Family Member

February 12, 2018

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge has opened our hearts and refuge to a new female, white tiger named Payson. Payson was rehomed with us from Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. The zoo contacted us looking for a new home for the 13-year-old Payson since they have decided to shift focus towards their Amur tiger species survival program.

“We are very excited to offer Payson a home with us! The zoo did what was best for Payson and the tiger species as a whole, since white tigers are not viable genetic candidates for the conservation of the species,” said Tanya Smith, President of TCWR.

The Henry Doorly Zoo decided to reach out to us during their search to rehome Payson, knowing that we would be able to offer her the same quality health care, attention, and love that they had given her. On February 7, 2018, Payson made the 430-mile journey to our refuge. She arrived in the afternoon and with only a little hesitation, transferred from her travel crate into her double night house area. She will spend a few days secured in the night house area for observation before she is given access to the large grassy habitat she will now call home.

We are glad that we could work with the Henry Doorly Zoo for this rehoming. We have been striving to foster better working relationships with zoos across the U.S. for years. We believe that zoos and sanctuaries will need work together to make sure that big cats in captivity are getting the best possible care. In the past, we have hosted a collaborative behavioral training workshop between zoos and sanctuaries, consulted with various zoos about animal health issues, and hope to continue to strengthen communicative efforts in the future.

So Mulch To Talk About

Warm Furry Friends

February 5, 2018 

Bosco enjoying the mulch pile in his night house on a cool winter day.

When winter temperatures plummet at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge we become innovative in ways to keep our animals warm. While a few of our residents such as the bobcats, cougars and black bears are native to the Ozarks, many are not, leaving them ill-equipped to face the winter months.

A key way we work to keep them warm is to ensure that they have enough insulation in their dens; we do this using mulch. Mulch offers more benefits than simply acting as an insulator, it also provides cushioning between the floor of their night house and their paws, which helps prevent chapping. In addition, mulch has a great smell.  The cedar and other woods emit a fresh woodsy scent that many animals enjoy; some can be found luxuriously rolling in a freshly laid pile! Every other day, animal care staff replace it to ensure it is kept clean, dry, and continues to have that wonderful aroma.

Even better, one of our dreams is to have heated floors in all the dens, which would truly help to increase our non-native animals’ comfort.  Together we can make this happen – please help us do this for them by donating today!