Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh Yeah!


Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Eureka Springs houses more than 100 large animals, including, lions, tigers, cougars, leopards, bears, monkeys, deer and birds. If you haven’t been to the refuge, or if you haven’t visited again in a while, now is a good time to go.


The refuge is in the middle of a mountainous task to raise the funds to build homes for 30 big cats that are in need of a home because their current owner is in failing health and can no longer take care of them. Refuge staff moved seven cats, six tigers and one cougar to the refuge, which left it full to the brim. The staff has raised about $110,000 to date, which is about half of the needed money to move all of the animals.

You can help in several ways. Refuge personnel have diligently acquired the necessary materials to build 10 1,400-plus feet of 8-foot perimeter fenced enclosures and are starting on the next three. If weather and donations permit, they will continue building through the winter and be done by March. How can you help? You and your family could volunteer to help build, or help by making a financial donation. It would also be great if you went to visit the refuge and the animals. Paid admission is helpful too, and in return you get an insight into these incredible animals that are saved by the refuge.

In case you’ve ever wondered, the animals cannot be put back into their native environments after captivity. They no longer have the skills to cope and survive in the wild. Some of them were bred and raised in captivity to begin with. Make a visit to Turpentine Creek. You’ll be glad you did.