Monthly Archives: December 2018

Making a Difference in 2018

Counting Down Until 2019

December 27, 2018

The countdown to 2019 has begun in earnest. With only four days left of this year, we are already looking forward to the adventure that awaits us in the coming new year. Despite how eager we might be to jump into 2019, we still have a lot of work to do these last few days of 2018. We still have animals to care for, visitors to educate, and bills to pay. We hope that these last few days are filled with pleasant weather, great supporters, and plenty of happy tiger chuffs.

Now is the time to get your last minute tax-deductible donations sent. To have your donations count towards your 2018 taxes, make sure you have your checks mailed out or your digital donations submitted by December 31, 2018. All non-membership donations are 100% tax-deductible, and 100% of donations go towards the care of the animals that call Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge home. Every donation made helps the animal residents, no matter how big or small.

Some examples of how far your donation can go are:

  • $7 – Provides a week’s worth of supplements for an animal
  • $25 – Covers routine bloodwork to diagnose health problems for a single animal
  • $50 – Covers annual vaccinations for one animal
  • $110 – Is the cost of a cylinder enrichment toy
  • $130 – Is the cost of a 20″ boomer ball
  • $250 – Provides a day’s worth of special diets for all animal residents
  • $335 – Is the cost of a “Ball in a ball” boomer ball
  • $1,200 – Is the budget for a year of basic animal enrichment supplies

Although we are in need of general donations, you also have the option of putting your end of the year tax-deductible donation towards one of our programs, such as adoptions or sponsorships. If you opt-out of memberships, adoptions, and sponsorships are also 100% tax-deductible. Now is the time to purchase an adoption, as of January 1, 2019, adoption pricing will rise to $150 per animal no matter the species and will no longer include an annual membership pass. Although animals can only be sponsored by one person at any time, any number of individuals can symbolically adopt an animal. Some animals have a lot of adopters, but a few only have one. You can ring in the new year with a new symbolically adopted furry family member!

Animals with only one adopter:

  • Holli – Black Bear
  • Harley – Black Bear
  • Jasmine – Tiger
  • Sadie – Tiger
  • Ty – Tiger
  • Shakira – Liger

The Turpentine Creek Wildlife team would like to thank all our supporters for making 2018 a fantastic year. Without your support and donations, we would not be able to continue our mission, click here to donate today. We hope that the end of 2018 is wonderful and that you have a purrfect 2019.

Making The Season Bright At TCWR

Shasta “Paws” and Flip The White-Nosed Coati Need Your Help

December 20, 2018

Flip the white-nosed Coati might not be able to lead a sleigh through dense fog to save the day and help Shasta “Paws” deliver gifts to all the good girls and boys, but you can help “save” animals in need by donating to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge today.

This has been an exhilarating year for the Refuge. We welcomed five animals into the TCWR furry family, created a new department dedicated to education, added an advocacy program, built two enormous natural habitats for six bears, hired an on-staff veterinarian, started constructing a new serval habitat with a temperature controlled building, heated multiple dens, ran electric throughout Rescue Ridge and part of the tour loop, installed five storm shelters (with 4 more to go), replaced our 30+-year-old meat trailer which broke down, purchased new vehicles to help team members get around the property, updated some of our lodging, and so much more. It was a year of advancement, improvement, and innovation, but also a year of unexpected expenses.

Although our amazing supporters come to our rescue often to help cover project costs, we rely on our annual visitors and lodging guests to fund our yearly operations expenses. This means that typically 100% of all donations go directly to the care of our animal residents. This year, however, our visitor attendance was lower than anticipated. This left us struggling to cover our high winter utility bills and daily operating costs. Winter is our slowest time, meaning there is very little chance that we will be able to make up the funding gap through admissions. So, this year we are asking you to help just a little bit more in the holiday season to keep the Refuge running.

We could cover the unexpected gap in our operations expenses if:

Everyone who visited our website in a month donated the cost of 1 adult ticket ($20)


Everyone who came to the blog post from social media donated the cost of a Pride Membership ($100)


Everyone who visits our blog donated the value of one small cat sponsorship ($1,000)

We appreciate the support and dedication of our donors, many of whom have recently given to help cover Blackfire’s surgery and the purchase of much needed medical supplies for our veterinary hospital. We want to thank everyone for their support this year and hope that 2019 will be even better than this one.

Thank you for helping us give refuge to animals in need, for supporting our mission, for helping spread the word about the plight of big cats in captivity, and for being the voice of the voiceless. Please help us help them; we couldn’t continue to rescue big cats without you.

Donate Now to help Turpentine Creek Have a Bright Holiday Season

Leading the WAY

New Teen Advocacy Membership Club

December 12, 2018

TCWR Offers a New Way for Teens to Become Change-Makers and Advocates!

Today’s youth want to take action to help animals but don’t know where to start.  This Holiday Season, Turpentine Creek offers a chance to put meaning into your teen’s presents, by Introducing the new Tier Membership just for teens:  The Wildcat Ambush for Youth (W.A.Y.).

A group of tigers is called a ‘streak’ or ‘ambush’.  In the Wildcat Ambush for Youth (W.A.Y.), teens can truly lead the W.A.Y. for positive change.  Here, teens can learn how to teach and inspire others to advocate for big cats and other animals through advocacy.  They’ll learn why predators should never be forced to be pets or used for human entertainment, understand the huge expense and exhausting amount of work necessary to adequately care for big cats and bears, and learn how tragic consequences for both humans and predators can be avoided by effective lobbying.

The youth of today must join forces if we are to end the Exotic Pet Trade and ultimately save the planet and its wildlife. Members will have exciting hands-on volunteer opportunities, as well as access to exclusive educational webinars focusing on topics from paths to careers in exotic animal care to glimpses of behind-the-scenes activities for our animal care experts at the Refuge and the true scope of the Exotic Animal Trade crisis.

For $75 in addition to 1 year of unlimited entry to the Refuge for the cardholder and 1 guest, sign-up gifts include the exclusive “Leading the W.A.Y.” t-shirt, frameable certificate, TCWR newsletter and more!

A W.A.Y. membership makes a great holiday gift and is also the “purrfect” introduction into advocacy for your child. Get a W.A.Y. membership today and help your child start “Leading the W.A.Y.” in big cat advocacy! Sign your teen up today!

Weathering The Storm

Severe Storm Hits TCWR

December 5, 2018

This past weekend, a severe storm ripped through a large portion of the central USA, including our little section of North West Arkansas. Strong straight-line winds whipped through the area in excess of 80 miles per hour. Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge made it through the storm, but not without some damage around the property.

The team at Turpentine Creek came to work Saturday morning to numerous trees down all around the property, including one that fell onto the jump guard of Willy the lion’s habitat causing only a little dent in the fencing. Some of the buildings on property sustained damage, including the roof of our veterinary hospital, two of our safari lodge roofs, and the new bear building. The most prevalent damage was done to our shade cloths and structures. The high winds tore off all the shade cloths at rescue ridge, shredding them beyond use. The winds also bent and twisted some of the recently built metal shade structures in the self-guided discovery area. One was beyond saving in Thunder and Harley’s habitat while the others are just bent and need a little work.

Overall, the damage done to Turpentine Creek was minimal. All of our animals came through the storm safely. Luckily, the team was well prepared and made sure all of the animals were secured in their night houses for the evening. Night houses are roofed structures that protect animals from flying and falling debris. They offer safe heavy cement dens for the animals to escape from the weather and feel secure. As a facility that faces storms frequently throughout the year, night houses are vital to protecting our animals.

We have also been working over the past year to protect our team and visitors from severe storms as well. This year we installed multiple storm shelters all over our property. These shelters are FEMA approved and will protect our humans from tornados. Protecting the animals that call the refuge home is essential, but we also have to protect the people who dedicate their lives to caring for the animals as well.

Despite the damage, Turpentine Creek is open to the public. Some of our lodging units might not be available as we replace the roofing and our team will be a little busier than usual cleaning up all the trees, but we are still open for visitors. Our insurance will help cover the repairs on the buildings and we have a handy set of team members that can rebuild the damaged shade structures when we have time. Turpentine Creek weathered the most recent storm well. Thank you to everyone who has shown concern over the Refuge this past week. Please donate and help us help them during our slow season this winter.