About Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

Our Mission

To provide lifetime refuge for abused and neglected “Big Cats” with emphasis on tigers, lions, leopards, and cougars.

The Vision

Through public education we work to end the Exotic Animal Trade, making sanctuaries like Turpentine Creek no longer necessary; together, we can preserve and protect these magnificent predators in the wild for our children’s future.

tiger laying in grass

Cornerstone Statements

lecture

Education

As a living museum, we prioritize educating to public on the exotic pet trade, wildlife conservation, animal welfare, and animal husbandry. TCWR is evolving how we educate today’s youth with in-classroom visits and onsite programming through interpretive learning.

Our Education

white tiger

Preservation

We rescue survivors of the Exotic Animal Trade with a focus on big cats and bear, providing them a safe lifelong home with exceptional diets and proper care, while working to preserve endangered species in the wild through public education and advocacy.

lion on rock

Compassion

We believe big cats are predators, not pets or entertainment for the masses.  They and other exotic and native wildlife deserve to live out their lives with dignity, allowed to be the wild animals they instinctually are. We will continue to be their voice, both for those forced to live in captivity and those struggling for survival in the wild.

Our Commitment

Rescue

We rescue survivors of the Exotic Animal Trade with a focus on big cats and bear, providing them a safe lifelong home with exceptional diets and proper care, while preserving endangered species.

Animal Care

We believe big cats are predators, not pets or entertainment for the masses. Exotic and native wildlife deserve to live out their lives with dignity, allowed to be the wild animals they instinctually are.

Enforcement

The Big Cat Public Safety Act makes it illegal to buy, sell, trade, transport across state lines without permits, privately own, or allow the public to have hands-on interaction with prohibited types of big cats.

The Story Behind the Refuge

In 1978, Don Jackson, a former Dallas Zoo employee, and his wife, Hilda, and their daughter, Tanya, acquired a lion cub named Bum. The lion cub was used as payment on a debt owed to a friend of the Jacksons. After a time, the gentleman realized he could not care for the animal as it needed and reached out to the Jacksons for help. The Jackson family built a large enclosure in their backyard and began caring for the young lion. After receiving Bum, they took in another lion named Sheila.

Continue Reading

Latest at the Refuge

Endangered Species Day 2024

How to select the best dog harness

Keep it Domestic: A reflection on why owning exotic cats will never work

Latest Big Cat Chronicles

As a donor of Turpentine Creek, you will receive your own physical copy of the Big Cat Chronicles each quarter!