Sunshine, Summertime, Sanctuary, And Social Distancing

Helping The Refuge Amid A Pandemic

June 17, 2020

Turpentine Creek has been reopen to the public for two weeks. We have had to make many changes on how we lead our tours and how we interact with our visitors due to COVID-19. This has been a learning process, and will continue to evolve and adjust as we encounter new challenges. 

Our education and animal care team members are still guiding our tours, offering an informative and educational experience for people of all ages. There have been some challenges; wearing a mask might not be fun but is necessary to protect the animals and their human caretakers from this dangerous virus. Tickets can be pre-booked now, which will save you a lot of time during check-in and guarantee your spot at your desired tour time. Although we do still offer walk-up tours, our tour sizes are limited. If the tour is already full you will have to wait until the next tour with available spots so we highly recommend booking ahead of time. As always, please arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled tour since groups leave right at the top of every hour. 

We are entering the warmer months of our season; during this time it is vital to come prepared when visiting. Wear light clothing, sunscreen, a hat, proper shoes, and to drink plenty of water. It can get very warm in Arkansas as we get into late June, July, and August. Please make sure to check the weather before coming and be prepared for heat.  If you are feeling unwell at any time during your tour, please don’t be embarrassed to speak up. We’ve all been there, and we want to keep you safe and comfortable! 

We have begun offering tours in our brand new trams! These open-air trams allow for airflow and shade on hot days. They allow for better viewing of the animals, more seating, and a more engaging environment for our riding tours. In order to properly social distance, seats are more limited than usual so we highly recommend reserving ahead of time at As with regular tours, please make sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before the tour time. If you wish to take a 10 AM tour, for example, the tour leaves right at 10 AM, so plan to arrive by 9:45 AM. 

Early tours are still the most ideal on hot days because as with every summer, our animal residents prefer to chill in their dens or snooze in the shade during the hottest part of the day. 

We look forward to seeing you this summer. As COVID progresses we will continue to adjust and adapt to protect the animals, our team, and our visitors. We hope to see you all soon!

Please consider helping us build a solid foundation for the Refuge; recurring donations help us have a stable source of income that protects the animals during uncertain times, like a global pandemic. Your monthly recurring donation of $5 or $10 – less than the price of a monthly TV streaming service – helps us care for all of the animals that call Turpentine Creek home. Just go to, enter the amount you wish to give, and make sure the recurring donation is selected. 

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