Grizzly Gets Grassy Habitat With Pool

TCWRBamBamWhat do you think it would be like to feel grass between your huge paws for the first time if you were a grizzly bear who had been in captivity for many years?

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Eureka Springs will introduce its 6-year-old male grizzly bear, Bam Bam, to his new enlarged habitat at a grand opening ceremony at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3. This bear was rescued by TCWR in 2009 from a private owner. He has become a favorite of visitors to the rescue because of he likes to show off and soak in his miniature stock tank pool.

Thanks to private and corporate donors, Bam Bam is moving from a small concrete and wire enclosure to almost a half-acre natural habitat featuring an in-ground swimming pool with a waterfall.

Bam Bam’s new habitat will also have an all-new indoor den, which TCWR is referring to as the Bear Bungalow Building. His den door will open to his new outdoor habitat at 10 a.m. on Nov. 3 and visitors can see him feel grass between his paws for the first time.

“I can’t begin to tell you how excited all of us are to see Bam Bam experience his new home. His custom designed pool will be a big hit thanks to the generosity of Randy Murray and his wonderful team at Aquacrete out of Bella Vista,” said Tanya Smith, TCWR president and co-founder. “This highlights our goal of replacing all concrete enclosures with large, natural habitats where our animals can run and play for the rest of their lives,” added Smith.


All interns, staff and the refuge board of directors will be on hand for this historic achievement by this popular wildlife sanctuary. The refuge opens at 9 a.m. for wildlife viewing with hourly Walking Tours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Trolley tours are also available. Wildlife feedings start at 5 p.m., and that’s always a fun time to visit the refuge.

If you’re coming to catch Bam Bam’s exciting day, admission to the refuge is $15 for adults, $10 for children 12-under, seniors, and military members. Children under 3 are free.

The 450-acre refuge, located 7 miles south of Eureka Springs, is home to more than 130 big cats and other endangered wildlife. Founded in 1992, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization operating one of America’s largest big cat sanctuaries. Open every day, the refuge has been voted one of Arkansas’ Top 10 Destinations and is rated the #1 Attraction in Eureka Springs by

Donations and volunteers are welcome and help pay for ongoing care of the tigers, lions, cougars, bears and other endangered wildlife making TCWR a life-long home. For refuge details, visit or call 479-253-5841. Follow TCWR on Facebook too.


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