New Habitat Opening Feb 7, 2012

Turpentine Creek opening new habitat for big cats

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Feb. 11 will a big day at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, when staff celebrate the public grand opening of the 31st natural habitat. The USDA licensed facility, located on Ark. Hwy. 23, seven miles south of Eureka Springs, is dedicated to the rescue and care of exotic big cats, and currently has more than 100 big cats and other rescued animals under their care. Many of the animals still live in caged concrete-floored enclosures, and every new natural habitat means more of the refuge’s creatures can enjoy life a little more.

The new natural enclosure is in honor of TCWR friends, Brandi and Ryan, who donated the entire cost of the new habitat. It will also honor Hilda P. Jackson, original founder of Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, who passed away in February 2011.

Two Bengal tigers, Ziggy and Tigger G., and African lion Brody will share the habitat on alternate days. For the big release day, Ziggy and Tigger G. will step onto the grass for the first time in their lives. The next day, Brody will have his turn to enjoy grass under his feet. Everyone is invited to come and watch this exciting event for the animals and staff of the refuge.

The refuge opens at 9 a.m., and all-day admission includes attendance at the grand opening event. Prices are $15 for adults and $10 for children 4-12, veterans, and senior citizens, 65 and older (children three and under are admitted free).

For additional information, call (479) 253-5841.