Monthly Archives: August 2019

Save Brady’s Life

Sick Liger Getting The Help He Needs Thanks To Your Support

August 27, 2019

Brady Liger is undergoing treatment for a suspected serious fungal infection that is fatal if left unmedicated. The illness comes from inhaling microscopic fungal spores that thrive in a moist environment. When the spores are inhaled, they transform into yeast through an interaction with body temperature; that yeast can then spread throughout the bloodstream. Not everyone who encounters the spores will get sick, which is likely why Karma, Brady’s habitat mate, is showing no symptoms.

Last week, our animal care team noticed Brady displaying some odd neurological symptoms. He appeared to be having trouble seeing. He was quickly sedated for an exam that included comprehensive blood work. Brady weighed in at 554lbs, which means he needs a very large dose of the medication to treat the illness. Though findings can’t be confirmed until next week, his symptoms combined with initial examination results have lead our team to strongly believe he has the fungal infection.

Because of the importance of quick treatment, our team made the decision to begin medicating Brady while awaiting further bloodwork results. The cost of the treatment, which he will undergo for six months, is approximately $2,600. We are asking everyone to #BeThereForBrady and save his life by helping us fund this life-saving cure. Our amazing supporters rallied behind Turpentine Creek and donated over $2,600 in just over 24 hours! But we are asking our supporters to continue to help Brady by continuing your support and spreading the word about Brady’s fight. Donations can be made in the following ways:

  • Via Paypal
  • Via our website (please note that the donation is for “Brady”)
  • By mailing a check or bringing an in-person donation to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, 239 Turpentine Creek Lane, Eureka Springs, AR, 72632
  • By creating a Facebook fundraiser
  • By using the “donate” sticker on Instagram stories

If you cannot donate, we ask that you help #GetBradyBetter by sharing our social media posts and other information with your family and friends.

Brady is only 10 years old and has been in excellent health until now. He and Karma were 18-months-old when they were rescued from a facility in Missouri. The pair are very close. Karma has demonstrated her concern for Brady during his sedations and seems ready to have her co-enrichment-killer back in action. For us, the thought of losing a beloved feline (especially one so young) is completely heartbreaking, but for Karma, it would be life-altering.

Right now, we are choosing to focus on what we know. We know Brady is ill, and we know he needs treatment. We also know that because of you, he can beat this. In just over 24 hours you have donated over $2,600 to help us care for Brady! Join us and continue to #BeThereForBrady.

UPDATE: Sadly, despite treatment, Brady’s health continued to decline and on August 31, we had to make a quality of life decision. Brady passed away peacefully surrounded by team members who cared deeply for him.


The Expected and The Unexpected

What Causes Animal Establishments to Close?

August 20, 2019

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, before it held the name, was started when founders Hilda and Don Jackson rescued Bum, a lion who had been traded to an individual in lieu of a debt and was slowly withering away chained up outside with a tree as his only shelter. Some years later, they took on a larger rescue when a black-market exotic animal dealer needed to ditch her hoard of big cats while on the run from the police. Since then, the Turpentine Creek team has encountered a number of different scenarios causing animals to seek lifetime refuge with us.

When exotic animals, especially large carnivores, have no place to go, finding them a home is tricky. Pulling up to your local animal shelter with a tiger in tow is not recommended! True sanctuaries like TCWR exist as, in essence, types of specialized animal shelters. In the past, we have quite literally had owners of big cats and bears show up at our front door with these huge creatures sitting unsecured in the beds of their trucks! Other times, we have rescued from closing facilities.

What causes an establishment to close its doors can vary. Most recently, Wildlife Waystation in California announced its upcoming termination. While some news sources allege “financial and management difficulty” as a reason, all writings on the matter attribute fire and flood damage as the leading cause. The facility suffered at the flames of the state’s 2017 Creek Fire; it never truly recovered when it was hit by significant flooding in early 2019. Since then, the organization has struggled to make much-needed and mounting repairs while continuing to care for their nearly 500 animals. In early August, they agreed to allow state officials to step in and begin rehoming processes.

Like natural disasters, illness is another uncontrollable factor that can lead to an organization’s demise and the uncertain futures of hundreds of animals. The Colorado Rescue began when the cub-petting/breeding operation’s owner was battling cancer and could no longer operate the park. Thankfully, the Turpentine Team was able to team up with Tigers in America (TIA) to facilitate the rescue and rehoming of 115 animals to 15 different reputable sanctuaries, including our own. A similar situation happened in 2012, in Mountainburg, AR. when the owner of a breeding facility couldn’t care for her animals due to failing health and age. We were called in and had to build 20 habitats in 128 days, an area now known as Rescue Ridge, to accommodate the massive influx of animals needing a home on short notice. When animals are in need, Turpentine Creek steps up, with the help of our supporters, to make sure the animals have a forever home with us.

Sometimes, situations occur out of nowhere. In other instances, it seems to be only a matter of time before some places suspend operations for good. Just last week, over 100 animals were seized from Wilson’s Wild Animal Park, a roadside zoo in Virginia said to have a “history of complaints.” State and local officials began the seizures amid animal cruelty allegations. Prior to the closure, which may not be permanent, federal inspectors had written the park up on numerous occasions. Investigative efforts continue to gather information for Wilson’s Wild Animal Park’s August 29 court hearing.   

As a true sanctuary accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, the risk of Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge’s closure due to improper care of our animal residents doesn’t exist. Hearing news of closures caused by the unforeseen, such as natural disasters and illness, makes us aware of how quickly things can take a turn for the worst, but also reminds us of how grateful we are for our supporters, like you! While we have disaster plans and plans for nearly every what-if scenario, you are the ones who truly provide security for our animal residents. Because of you, not only can we respond quickly and efficiently when animals are left homeless, but we also know that should catastrophe knock on our door, we can continue providing quality care for our Survivors of the Trade. For that, we can’t thank you enough.

Wildlife Waystation Rescue Status: Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is prepared to help as needed with the rescue of the animals at this facility providing housing, transport, or both for animals in need. We do have space available for some animals currently, but distance, heat, and other facility space closer to Wildlife Waystation are determining factors in where animals will be placed.  At this time, we are just making sure we are prepared at our facility in the event that we are asked to assist with this rescue. As the rescue situation develops, we will keep our supporters updated on what we know. 

2nd Annual Sipping For Sanctuary

Join Us For a Fun-Filled Night of Fundraising

August 13, 2019

We’re just three weeks away from our second annual Sipping for Sanctuary craft beer/wine-tasting fundraiser! This year, it will be held September 5, from 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM, at the historic Apollo on Emma in Springdale, Arkansas.

Northwest Arkansas is known for its rich artistic scene and unique atmosphere; it’s no wonder those attributes even translate to the region’s spirits and brews! Local vendors will be offering a variety of award-winning wine and beer for guests to sample in the atmosphere of the beautiful Apollo On Emma, which was once the Apollo Theater. The venue has been remodeled in a “classical 1940’s art deco appeal,” complete with marble and cherry wood accents, crystal chandeliers, and an air of art and elegance.

Guests can sip as the song stylings of local musician, Kurt Hunter, wafts through the air, mingling with the aroma of delectable gourmet food crafted by Catered Creations. Attendees will also have the opportunity to bid on up to 100 silent auction items, including Refuge lodging, stays at regional hotels and bed-and-breakfasts, product/service baskets, paw paintings created by TCWR’s animal residents, and local art. In addition, this event serves as a wonderful opportunity to mingle with fellow animal-lovers and conservationists who share a passion for the Refuge and making the world a better place for all creatures, two-legged and four-legged, alike.

Cocktail attire is suggested, and animal-print is encouraged! Because we support the ethical treatment of animals, we ask that guests do not wear actual animal products.

Tickets are on sale now for $55, but will be $65 day-of. Admission includes two complimentary drink tickets (3 if you are a member) that can be redeemed at any of our craft beer/wine vendors at the event. Tickets can be purchased at

Those who belong to a Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge membership tier get one complimentary admission ticket. If this applies to you, please email or call 479-253-5841 ext. 5 to confirm your membership and attendance. If you are interested in becoming a member, please visit

We hope you will join us Thursday, September 5, for a night of Sipping for Sanctuary! All proceeds support TCWR, and we encourage you to bring a friend to introduce to our mission.

Sadie Tiger Gets A Checkup

A Visit With The Vet

August 6, 2019

At Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, we understand the importance of monitoring our animal residents’ health every day. The apex predators under our care have a natural instinct to hide injury and illness to the best of their abilities. This helps them survive in the wild because it prevents them from appearing weak, which could cause them to go from predator to prey. In captivity, however, their predisposition to cover up their maladies can be highly detrimental to their well-being. Because of this, our animal care team has to become very familiar with each animal resident and keeps a watchful eye for small changes in their behaviors that could be indicative of a problem.

Last week, animal care team members noticed Sadie tiger was not eating. For these carnivores, loss of appetite is a huge red flag. Because the team knows her well enough, they also noted that seemed to be feeling generally unwell. Sadie was promptly sedated and taken to our onsite Jackson Memorial Veterinary Hospital. There, staff veterinarian, Dr. Kellyn Sweeley, performed a comprehensive exam of the tiger, which included blood work and x-rays. All tests results seemed to indicate that Sadie was suffering from constipation; she was given an enema and remained in the veterinary hospital for a few days for continued monitoring and recovery.

Sadie demonstrated improvement during her time in the hospital. Sunday, the animal care team sedated and transported her back to her habitat, where she received another enema as a precaution. Since then, she has begun regaining her vitality and is eating again. We will continue to monitor her to make sure she doesn’t regress, but so far, it looks like this there was a simple solution to her issue.

Due to their past histories, which often included poor breeding, malnourishment, and subpar healthcare, the animal residents of Turpentine tend to be under regular treatment for a slew of ailments and are at risk for many more. Things like tummy troubles and dental issues aren’t necessarily life-threatening at first, but should they be prolonged without proper care, they can lead to widespread systems damages and even death! You’ve heard us say it many times before, but prevention and early detection truly are key; that’s why we provide regular wellness exams, daily checks, and a carefully-curated regime that combines healthy diets, medicine, and enrichment for mental and physical well-being.

You can learn more about how we care for our animal residents by visiting:

The Roar Challenge

Share Your Passion

August 1, 2019

This August, we’re calling on you to take the #RoarChallenge and share your passion about the Refuge! This simple summons could win you and a friend some much-sought-after prizes.

Participation is easy; simply tell at least one person (who doesn’t already know about TCWR) about us then visit There, you will be asked to complete a quick form with your name and email address, along with your friend’s name and email address. For every 100 registrations, we will be giving away a paw painting to the primary entrant and two admission tickets to the person they told about us!

For a bonus entry and to help spread awareness about TCWR, you can take the virtual #RoarChallenge by showing off your best lion roar or tiger chuff in a video, uploading it to your social media pages, and sharing the link on the form at Don’t forget to use the hashtags #Roar4TCWR #Roar4Refuge #RoarChallenge and to tag a friend to complete the challenge next!

We are dedicating the entire month of August to gaining as many new supporters as possible, which means you will have from August 1- August 31 to enter to win. The more people we have sharing our mission, the greater chance big cats have at claiming a happier, healthier future. Please join us in expanding our network of educators, advocates, and ethical tourists.

You can start a conversation in person, or via call, text, email, or social media #RoarChallenge #Roar4TCWR #Roars4Refuge. Here are some helpful links with information about TCWR to get you started: