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Vacation at America’s Premiere Big Cat Refuge!

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Experience the Animals

Meet Some Of Our Residents

Stay the weekend in a our lodge and enjoy a unique experience listening to the animals. Learn the history behind the animals residing at TurpentineCreek, and why we believe our mission in saving these animals is so critical. This is a once in a lifetime experience!




Male Bengal Tiger 

Birthday: 5/4/00  –  Rescue Date: 4/12/08 Rescue Location: Fairview, MO.Ziggy was kept as a pet along with a female tiger named Tigger. Both tigers had been declawed by their owner. Shortly after arrival Tigger gave birth to two cubs, BB King and Mack. As a non-breeding facility, we neutered Ziggy to prevent more births.

Male Lion 

Birthday: 10/11/04  –  Rescue Date: 10/11/16 Rescue Location: Calhan, CO.Daniel was one of 115 animals that Turpentine Creek rehome after taking over a facility. The facility bred cats and offered pay-to-play cub petting. Daniel and his mate Chloe came to Turpentine Creek. After arrival Daniel was given a vasectomy and had surgery to remove a damaged eye.

Female Mountain Lion 

Birthday: 4/14/96  – Rescue Date: 8/14/98 Rescue Location: Independence, KS.Kitty was being kept as a pet by a family. When Kitty got into a fight with a dog, the family’s 10-year-old son tried to break it up and Kitty hurt the boy. The Department of Health in Kansas decided Kitty needed to be euthanized to test for rabies. The family refused and reached out to TCWR to save her.

Where We Started

In 1978, our founders rescued Bum, a rapidly growing 8-month-old lion cub who was chained to a sweetgum tree. In 1992, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge officially began when a black market breeder abandoned 42 big cats crammed into 3 cattle trailers on the founders’ doorstep. 

And We’re Pretty Fun Too…

The mission of Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (TCWR) is to provide lifetime sanctuary for the survivors of the exotic pet trade. With the care, safety, and welfare of animals being the number one priority at the Refuge, it is important to all of us at TCWR that each animal is treated with the dignity and compassion they desperately need and deserve.


To date, hundreds of big cats and bears have been rescued by Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge from across the country, including from states:  Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, New York, Kansas, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Montana, Tennessee, and Colorado. TCWR’s  reputation for diligent care and compassion for animals, along with the staggering number of exotic animals being kept as pets in American homes (estimated between 10,000 to 15,000), has meant that a place at the Refuge is constantly in high demand.

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