Monthly Archives: October 2020

Second Annual Holiday Auction

Santa Claws Is Coming To Town

October 21, 2020

Get ready, Turpentine Creek has the “purrfect” holiday gift items! On Nov. 6th at 8 am until the 8th at 8 pm CST you can bid on any of the 90 items that will be up for auction during our second annual Santa Claws Is Coming To Town Online Auction! 

We know that our supporters love giving gifts, we see it all the time with donations to the Refuge, but your holiday purchase this year can do double duty! You can buy an amazing gift (even one for yourself) that also helps us care for the animals that call the Refuge home! 

This year, we have nearly 90 items available, many of which were made by our animal residents! From animal made gifts such as paw paintings, paw prints, keychains, and holiday ornaments, to donated gift certificates, animal-themed artwork, and a one-of-a-kind TCWR themed lamp, there is a little something for everybody in this online auction!

This year, we’ve added some unique items to our auction list, paw prints! Typically, we offer paw paintings, wonderful artistic creations made by our animal residents (we still have some of these as well), but this year we took the opportunity to capture paw print paintings from our animals when they were sedated for veterinary procedures. We got paw prints from five animals, including B.B. King, who has been receiving chemo treatments every three weeks. There is a very limited supply of these and it is rare we get the chance to get such wonderful keepsakes of our animals!

All auction items have been donated to Turpentine Creek or made by our team, so all proceeds will go directly towards the care of the animals! 

Turpentine has been hit hard by COVID-19, between our three-month closure to limited tours and lodging availability we have spent all year trying to make ends meet. During the last few months of the year is typically when 50% of our funds are donated. This auction kicks off our holiday giving season, it is a great opportunity to complete some much needed holiday gift shopping as well as supporting the Refuge.

You can get a sneak peek (and start planning what you want to bid on) of our auction on our auction page. And please remember, if you don’t win the item(s) you bid on, you can still donate your bid, or a portion of it, to the refuge! Every little bit helps!

Falling Leaves Lifting Spirits

Changing Seasons At TCWR

October 15, 2020

Although summer is typically our busiest time for visitors, fall is where the fun is! Summer is filled with sleepy cats and splashing pools, but fall is filled with fun, play, and leaves! Lions, tigers, and bears all love the cooler weather. This small window of time sees tigers perking up from the long hot summer, lions enjoying the last warm afternoons, and bears foraging to get ready for a long winter nap. This is the perfect time for a visit! 

During the fall our animals get a little extra fun enrichment. Nature offers our team some unique and engaging materials to offer our big cats and bears! Amazingly, tigers love pouncing in leaf piles, rolling around, and flattening them into submission. 

Pumpkins are a hit with all of the animals that call the Refuge home. Although the big cats don’t eat them, they enjoy sinking their teeth into their orange flesh and ripping them to shreds. Bears get extra special treats from nature, nuts, leaves, and pumpkins, which make for sweet snacks as they plump up for the winter. All of these fun enriching items come directly from nature for all the animals. It is wonderful to watch how much childlike wonder these animals display in the fall!

Fall not only brings around cooler weather for the animals to enjoy but also perfect days for our human visitors! Arkansas fall is a ‘Goldilocks’ dream… not too hot, not too cold, just right! In addition to that, the autumn leaves make the beautiful Ozark mountains even more beautiful! Fall peak is predicted to hit around November 2nd but the changing leaves have already begun.

If you can’t make it this year, start making plans for a trip in the fall of 2021! This is the best time of year for an overnight visit, weekend trip, or week-long vacation! You can’t go wrong spending a beautiful fall day at Turpentine Creek! Plan your visit, stay overnight, or donate today to support our animals as we also prepare for winter at the Refuge!

Time Is Running Out

Big Cat Public Safety Act – 116th Session ends in January

October 7, 2020

Two tigers - one orange and one white - in small cages at WIN in Indiana

Two tigers waiting for rescue at WIN in Indiana.

For almost two years, Turpentine Creek, our supporters, and other true sanctuaries have been asking our congressmen to protect big cats and the public from these dangerous wild animals. Since January 3, 2019, people all over the country have been reaching out through email, phone, and in person telling their congressmen to put an end to hands-on interaction with big cats and private ownership. 

Many of them have heard your pleas and in the House of Representatives over half of them have co-signed on H.R. 1380 – The Big Cat Public Safety Act. Currently, the bill has stalled after being put on the calendar, on June 8, 2020. No further progress had been made in the House;  if it were to be presented it would quickly pass.

New rescued lion Chief gets a veterinary checkup at TCWR

Many rescues from pay-to-play facilities have health issues – like Chief who came dehydrated and infested with worms.

In the Senate the bill has been sitting and has yet to be assigned to a subcommittee, but it already has 30 co-signers for S. 2561 – The Big Cat Public Safety Act, and it only needs 51 to have a majority if it can get to vote. 

Although the clock is ticking down, with the 116th Congress session ending January 3, 2021, we cannot give up hope yet. Your voices have been heard and so many Congressmen have shown support for the Big Cat Public Safety Act. We must continue to reach out to our representatives, especially our Senators, to tell them that we must protect not just big cats in captivity but also the humans that are put at risk when hands-on interaction and private ownership is allowed. 

Miles, an orange tigress, relaxes in a large grassy habitat at her new home in Arkansas.

True sanctuaries, like TCWR, don’t allow hands-on interaction with their animals.

Our most recent rescue of eight cats from a breeding facility that offered pay-to-play interactions with big cats is a prime example of the abuse that these animals face when they are exploited for monetary gain. They came to us in poor health, infested with worms, and many other health issues. They are now on the road to recovery but it is only by ending hands-on interaction with big cats that we can protect future generations from this type of abuse and neglect. 

Please add your voice to ours and tell your congressman to support H.R. 1380 and S. 2561. As 2020 comes to a close, let us take one giant step towards protecting captive big cats in the USA. Click here to send a message to your congressmen now and tell them that protecting big cats is important to you.