Category Archives: Press Release

Two Bobcats Rescue

Flooding in Arkansas Displaces Bobcats

May 29, 2019

Record flooding on the Arkansas River has destroyed houses and businesses in west central Arkansas. Many humans have lost their livelihood in only a few short days because of heavy rainfall in Arkansas and Oklahoma. But humans are not the only victims of these storms. On May 28th, 2019, at around 1 pm, Turpentine Creek was contacted by a woman who had two pet bobcats given to her after they were rescued from a flooded house.

The two 8-month-old bobcats, Prince and Tony, had been rescued from a flooded home in Lavaca, Arkansas. They were confined to dog crate cages with rising flood waters already reaching their chests. The rescuers pulled the pair of bobcats out of the house in time to save their lives, but not all of the owner’s animals were rescued in time. The owner relinquished the bobcats to a woman in Charleston, Arkansas, who was known to take in small animals in need. The woman had no idea how to care for bobcats, so she reached out to local rescues to find them a home. Multiple rescues pointed her in Turpentine Creek’s direction, so she reached out to us for help.

Turpentine Creek answered the call and packed up to race down to rescue the bobcats. We had to navigate around flooded areas and what should have only been a two-hour trip took over three hours to navigate. Many roads were flooded, and most bridges had been closed down due to severe flooding. Despite this, the team took their time and safely made it to Charleston, Arkansas to pick up our newest animal residents and arrive back at the Refuge at 11 pm.

According to the rescuer, the pair of bocats had been found in the wild in October of last year and were approximately one month old. The individual who found them decided to keep them as pets and had them living in her house. When her husband became sick, they were moved to small crates in the person’s backyard and were allowed to spend some time in a dog run on occasion. Both Tony and Prince show signs of severe muscle atrophy in their hind legs due to this. They were also both reportedly being fed cat food, an improper diet for a bobcat, and also show nutritional deficiencies. Our veterinarian, Dr. Kellyn Sweeley, will be performing a full examination and evaluation of their health over the upcoming days.

Prince and Tony will spend the next few weeks in quarantine down at our vet hospital to prevent the transfer of any diseases. Once they have been cleared of all diseases and infestations, we plan to neuter the pair and attempt to re-introduce them. They will then be placed in a habitat where they can spend their lives enjoying a safe, happy, life at with us the Refuge.

Turpentine Creek was assisted in this emergency rescue by ifaw, who has partnered with the Refuge to pay for rescue and veterinary expenses for the pair of bobcats. With the flooding happening around the country from the severe storm many animals have been displaced. Unlike normal domestic cats and dogs, there are very few places that captive exotic animals can go. With assistance from groups like ifaw, sanctuaries will be able to step up and offer assistance as needed to rescue these victims of the exotic pet trade.

Please donate today to help us care for our newest animal residents. Tony and Prince will need adopters and sponsors to help us care for them for the remainder of their lives. These two young bobcats now have a real chance at life here at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. It is only with your help that we can continue to rescue survivors of the exotic pet trade. 

A picture of Prince, a 9-month-old bobcat recently rescued by Turpentine Creek.

Prince the 9-month-old Bobcat, rescued by Turpentine Creek.

Tony the 9-month-old bobcat recently rescued by Turpentine Creek.

Tony the 9-month-old bobcat recently rescued by Turpentine Creek.

Several Servals Celebrate Construction Completion

And YOU are invited!

May 15, 2019

This is your purr-sonal invitation to join us Wednesday, June 12, at 9:45 AM for the grand opening of our new serval habitat. The project was made possible by the Roop family. The Refuge opens at 9 AM, and we encourage you to arrive no later than 9:30 AM. Standard admission rates apply.

Work on the project began this winter, almost immediately after the grand opening of the updated bear habitats. Our animal care and maintenance teams battled unpredictable weather, from ice and snow to torrential downpours of rain, as well as delays on materials and unplanned instances that required a shift in priorities. With just a few finishing touches remaining, we are excited to release our five serval residents into their new space!

The enclosure spans 6,500 square feet. Much like tigers, servals are a species of water-loving felines so we’ve provided them with a pool to keep them splish-splashing all summer long. When it’s time for the chilly winter weather that African cats disfavor, they can cuddle up and keep warm in their spacious heated building. We incorporated natural rock and wood features in order to fabricate benches for rest and hollows for privacy.

As we continue to use our resources to fight back against the Exotic Pet Trade epidemic, we live day to day knowing that at any second, the phone could ring with a call that will lead us to an animal or multiple animals who need our help. We keep this in mind as we erect our enclosures; they need to be specific enough to meet the needs of the animal residents currently residing in them but versatile enough to accommodate someone else. This habitat could safely and comfortably house multiple small cats, such as leopards or cougars, or a single large animal, such as a lion or tiger. If the day comes when the servals need to be relocated, perhaps to Rescue Ridge many years down the line when they’ve aged, then we will have no problem adapting their former enclosure for a different species.

We can’t wait to watch our serval residents take the first steps with their tiny paws into their forever home and are elated to share this special day with you. Please visit our website if you have any questions regarding your visit to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. Explore this page to learn more about our serval residents.

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.