Monthly Archives: February 2020

Offering Better Accessability

Newest “Crash The Compound” Project

February 27, 2020

Area Behind Gift Shop in 2015 after being bulldozed.

In late 2015, Turpentine Creek moved the last animal out of the original metal cages located behind the gift shop, dubbed as the “compound” by our team members. Shortly thereafter, bulldozers came in and demolished this smaller caging. That was the first stage in “Crash the Compound”, we then proceeded to build two large grassy habitats for six tigers rescued during our Colorado Project, which was the next stage in the process. For five years, we’ve let the land settle and made plans, but finally, we’ve begun the final stage of the compound crash.

Next time you visit the Refuge, the Discovery Area will look completely different! As of yesterday, February 26, 2020, construction has begun on the area for our new pavilion and paved pathways in the Discovery area!

Work on the actual wooden pavilion started weeks ago. Sal Wilson Timber Construction’s team of timber framers began cutting, sanding, treating, and preparing all the wood elements so that they are ready to be assembled after the cement has been poured and set.

Today, a team of workers are leveling the ground throughout the central part of the Discovery area so that they can pour a beautiful cement pathway running between Bam Bam, Kizmin/Tanya, and Lakota/Joey/Khaleesi/Aurora. Then it will turn and run in front of the Bobcat habitat and Goober’s habitat. They will then construct the sizeable wooden pavilion in the area between Goober and Lakota/Joey/Khaleesi/Aurora’s habitats.

This is stage one of our project to enhance our visitor experience in the Discovery area. We hope to have this completed before Spring Break starts mid-March. After Spring Break, we plan to move to stage two of this project and pave paths throughout the remainder of our discovery area, including down the bear tunnel.

Stage one is estimated to cost approximately $65,000 for the cement and pavilion construction. Supporter M. Whitt kicked off this project by offering a $20,836 match, leaving us $44,164 to fundraise to fund this stage of the project entirely. We will be fundraising for this stage of the project from now until NWA Gives Day on April 2, 2020. For NWA Gives Day, we will be fundraising for whatever amount is left for this project, and possibly for the second stage of the project if, as usual, our amazing supporters rally behind us and get this stage funded early. We encourage everyone to join us for NWA Gives Day for a day filled with fun and fundraising!

We are estimating that phase two will be approximately $55,000, and we will try to begin working on this stage of the project in late April.

Not only will this project make our property more accessible for everyone, but the new pavilion space will also give us an area to conduct our educational presentations, offer a reprieve from the weather for visitors, a beautiful event area, and picnic area near the animals. With the pavilion, we will be able to expand on our education and advocacy programs, creating a better future for the animals that we rescue.

We are very excited to be able to offer this beautiful new space for our visitors. This is another step towards expanding our educational offerings and making our Refuge a leader in the animal and environmental education community.

Thank you for your support, please pardon our mess while construction is ongoing. During construction tours, maybe rerouted around the construction site, but at this time, we plan to continue business as usual. We invite everyone to plan a trip out to not only see the animals but the beautiful new pavilion area this spring!

We look forward to seeing you here!

Donate Now for the new pavilion and pavement project.

Or join us for NWA Gives Day!

Time Marches On

Planning Ahead For Your Spring Break With TCWR

February 18, 2020

As February wraps up and March quickly approaches, we remind our supporters to plan ahead if you wish to spend your spring break at the Refuge. Not only are the animals more active in the cooler spring months, but we also have new residents to meet, events to attend, and plenty of kid friendly activities to enjoy! Spending an hour, day, weekend, or week at the Refuge is the ‘purrfect’ way to celebrate spring!

Mark your calendars, we have changes and upcoming events you should keep in mind when making your upcoming seasonal plans.

On March 1, 2020, Ticket prices rise $5 per ticket (Adults $25, Teens (13-19) $20, Kids (4-12)/Seniors (65+)/Military -$15, children under 3 still free). If you are already making your plans, you can still purchase any time tickets online for the current prices and use them when you come to visit, they will still be valid! This is a great way to save a little money on your upcoming trip.

March 8, 2020, will be the first day of our summer hours. We will be open from 9 am until 6 pm with tours running every hour on the hour from 10 am until 4 pm. Taking a tour is a great way to meet our newest residents, who live on our tour path. You can also sign up for one of our behind the scenes tours. The Carnivore Caravan tour is now offered every day of the week for $100 a person (which includes general entry), and our Coffee with the Curator tours are now offered every single Saturday! These are great ways to see all the animals at the Refuge and get a private tour by one of our highly trained animal caretakers. Learn more and book today at

March 23, 25, and 27, your children ages 6-12 can participate in an educational Fun Day at Turpentine Creek! Cost for our Fun Days is $30 per child and pre-registration is required. It is a wonderful way to celebrate spring break and help your children learn more about the amazing animals that call Turpentine Creek home! Registration is now open at If you want to stay on-property while your children participate, we suggest booking a room now before they are full!

Spend a beautiful day at the Refuge during our annual Kite Festival, which will be held on March 28 from 10 am until 4 pm. Fly a kite with your family in our front event field. You can participate in Kite Festival for free, but if you want to visit with the animals you have to pay regular admission prices. This family-friendly event is a great way to enjoy a beautiful spring day at the Refuge. Make a kite with your kids, enjoy one of the many vendors, listen to music, and spend time in the great outdoors!

Spring is also a wonderful time to get creative in supporting the Refuge- especially if you want to help our mission but can’t donate money. You could open a lemonade stand, host a rummage sale, or even organize a 5K or “fun run” to support our animal residents. These activities are great ways to participate in the 2020 pledge through our campaign, 2020 Vision: Your Focus, Their Future!

And finally, if you are wanting to make your spring break a volunteer vacation we still have some space available for volunteer groups during spring break! Reach out to our volunteer coordinator to schedule your group today and make a difference during your spring break vacation!

Love Is In The Air

Spring Is Coming

February 12, 2020

Valentine’s Day is Friday and love is in the air! This romance includes native U.S. wildlife, like bobcats and cougars. Although we spay or neuter our animals to prevent breeding, their wild cousins are entering mating season. When breeding season is in full swing, animals who are usually solitary, like cats, become more social. This socialization increases the chance for them to be sighted more frequently. Just because they may be seen doesn’t mean they are a threat; they are most likely just looking for a mate. Depending on the species, there are certain mating behaviors that occur. Once mating is over, the animals go back into hiding to start preparing for their babies to be born.

At Turpentine Creek, we spay our female cougars to prevent wild suiters from entering our property. Female cougars will call out to males, when in heat. This sound can travel for miles. It sounds a lot like a woman screaming at the top of her lungs and can be very unnerving to hear. For our safety, and peace of mind, it is better to spay our female cougars than to let them go into heat every year.

In the upcoming months, while outdoors, you might see some of these cute cat-like babies, such as bobcat and cougar kittens, “hiding” in bushes or tall grass.

If you see them, do not touch them or move them. It is very likely that their mom only left for a short time to hunt or forage and will be back soon to get them! They may also be heard from a distance yowling. Though they may sound distressed, do not go closer to them! They are calling for their mom and if people are near she will not return, leaving her babies alone even longer. Interfering with kittens of wild cats can end up hurting them in the long run, especially if they get used to people being around.

As the season of love ends, young wildlife will start appearing. Though they are cute, they are still wild animals who play an important role in the environment.

Click Here To Learn More About Mountain Lions

Click Here To Learn More About Bobcats