Monthly Archives: April 2019

DJ and T Grant

DJ & T Foundation Awards Grant

$100,000 Grant for Animal Medical Needs

April 30, 2019

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (TCWR) has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the DJ & T Foundation. The funds will be used for the sanctuary’s veterinary care program.

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge will celebrate their 27th year in existence May 1. The organization’s mission focuses on providing a lifetime home for abused and neglected big cats, though they frequently take in bears.

In 2016, at the height of the TCWR’s largest rescue to-date, “The Colorado Project,” construction continued on an on-site veterinary hospital to reduce the risks associated with anesthetizing and transporting animals 48 miles round-trip for medical treatment. In 2018, the refuge hired its first on-site veterinarian to provide an even higher standard of care to their 95 animal residents.

The DJ & T Foundation, established in 1995, focuses on animal welfare. They played a vital role in TCWR’s aforementioned Colorado Project through grant funding. Their support allowed TCWR to purchase the Colorado property, which was required for the sanctuary to begin facilitating the removal of 115 animals residing in deplorable conditions at the facility. The 2016 grant also funded staffing to carry out the 6-month undertaking of rescuing, rehoming and transporting animals from the Colorado property to reputable sanctuaries nation-wide.

TCWR would like to publically thank the DJ & T Foundation for their past and current support.

“So many of these animals have very specific needs from their years of abuse and neglect before their rescue. To be able to stock our veterinary hospital with medication and equipment that will allow them to live longer, pain-free lives is a blessing for them and for all of us who care for them. We can’t thank the DJ & T Foundation enough,” said TCWR President, Tanya Smith.

Cats At The Castle 2019

8th Annual Event Recap

April 30, 2019

This year we celebrated Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge’s 27th Anniversary while hosting our 8th Annual Cats at the Castle Fundraiser. We set a goal of $27,000 to commemorate our 27 years of rescuing animals in need and thanks to our amazing supporters we surpassed it raising $34,822 in a single night! Our guests arrived at Castle Rogue’s Manor to the theme of “Hakuna Matata” for a fun-filled evening of fine dining, cocktails, music and giving for the animals!

Guests enjoyed live entertainment by Eureka Music Revival, delicious food catered by Victor Smith’s Catered Creations, silent and live auctions, a raffle, and presentations about our future endeavors. Guests were able to bid on one-of-a-kind pieces of art, thanks to the Artists and Biologists Unite for Nature Group (ABUN). This group consists of over 800 artists from around the world that want to make a difference for nonprofits in need, and they created breathtaking art of our animal residents.

We had an overabundance of amazing artwork, so much so that we couldn’t fit it all in the limited space available at Castle Rogues Manor. Because of this, we have decided to offer an online auction with some of the remaining pieces of artwork! On May 10, 2019, we invite all our supporters to join us for a fun online event that will allow you to own your own little bit of beautiful TCWR inspired artwork donated from ABUN and other local artists!

This is an extension of our Cats at the Castle event and has been requested by many supporters for years. We are excited to offer our online Cats at the Castle auction and hope many of our supporters will be able to join us. hWe will be posting further details about the event and items over the next few days on our social media. Please visit our Facebook event page for updates.

Exotic Pet Trade

And The Internet

April 25, 2019

“I want a pet (insert exotic animal here).” This statement commonly comes along with a video of an animal doing something cute or unusual. Even though the person sharing will probably not act on the desire to own one, there are people who will and with the internet it is very easily done. 

The term exotic can refer to a wild animal or one that is more unusual than a standard dog or cat. The Internet has given mediums the ability to communicate and create connections around the globe.  Due to the popularity of e-commerce and social media websites, unique animals have increased in demand. Millions of people visit social media every day and many posts can become viral, especially ones with tigers, primates, and other wild animals as the main characters. These websites not only give owners a platform to share and show off, but it provides an easy way to advertise the sale of live animals with little or no concern about getting in trouble. Because there is weak enforcement, the trade of these animals is not buried in the “dark web.”

A study in 2016 found over 3,706 exotic animals listed for sale online in a span of three months. The animal species listed consisted of primates, exotic cats, canids, snakes, and many others. Some of the exotic animals sold as pets are bred in captivity but there are countless taken from the wild.  Once the animals are captured they may be used in breeding operations, sold locally, smuggle out of the country, or intentionally mislabeled as captive bred and exported legally. Some of the trade is legal, but many of the animals are captured illegally to supply the demand for exotic pets. Exotic pet breeders will produce babies for profit as juvenile animals are the most popular. The sale of live animals adds to a major part of the illegal wildlife trade, a multibillion-dollar black market. This trade is the 4th largest illegal trade globally worth around $20 billion USD annually. 

Exotic pets often suffer abuse and neglect including removal from mother at a young age, inadequate food, housing, and socialization, as well as other forms of neglect. The exotic pet trade is causing wild animal populations to decline at a devastating rate. The next time you see a video of a wild animal as a pet, think twice before clicking share to help protect and save wildlife.  

Written By Education Intern Abby Hickam

Things That Climb

Temperatures, Bears, and Calorie Intakes

Similar to many of us after we awaken from a nap that was longer than we intended, our bear residents have risen from their winter slumbers and have one thing on their mind: FOOD!

Aside from preferring all of their meat uncooked, their diets aren’t that different than ours. They share our cravings for salty popcorn, cereal, a nice slice of bread and especially peanut butter! And yes, the old cliché is true- bears love honey! Don’t worry, it’s not all carbs and sugar in their food dishes; they also get healthy servings of oats, fruits and veggies.

How we feed our bear residents and the amount they consume varies by season and activity level. In the Winter, they spend most of their time snoozing and their movements are lethargic. Since they are doing less, their bodies don’t require as much fuel. They are also uninterested in any type of fun food enrichment, but when the weather changes, so does everything else!

Once Spring hits, our bear residents’ calorie intakes begin to climb and peaks during the Summer. They are up, they are moving, they are hungry, and they are also very bored! Bears are the toddlers of the Refuge world; they are curious and require constant and ever-changing amusement lest they get destructive or worse, come down with a case of the “blahs.” Thankfully, we can sneak extra enrichment into mealtimes by changing up the way they are fed.

When possible, we skip the boring dinner trays for options that require a bit more thinking and activity. Scatter-feeding is a Turpentine Creek bear favorite; before their morning release, we will literally scatter fruits and veggies throughout their habitats. Our animal care team gets creative by erecting crazy toy-and-food towers. Hiding breakfast underneath and on top of objects in the enclosure encourages the natural bear behavior of foraging, which provides positive physical and mental stimulation.  Other forms of food enrichment include peanut-butter covered sticks and fruitcicles, which are literally blocks of ice with various fruits frozen inside.

Our bear residents require wild amounts of food during the warmer months. In the Summer, they can devour up to 15 pounds of chicken and 20 pounds of produce a day! Thankfully, our friends at Tyson Foods provide our animal residents with plenty of meat, but finding enough good-quality produce to fill the sometimes 1,000 pounds we feed a week is a bit trickier and highly costly. A donation of $14.25 to our Food Fund would provide a day’s worth produce for one of our 12 bear residents and leave you deserving of a giant bear hug (delivered via human) on your next visit to the Refuge.