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“Awesome big cats and bears”

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: "With over 130+ exotic cats and other wildlife on display, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is one of the largest big cat sanctuaries in the United States. The non-profit USDA licensed refuge, founded in 1992, has grown to become one of the Top 10 attractions in Arkansas and the most popular in Eureka Springs. Lions, cougars, leopards, tigers, and bears are displayed in large natural habitats surrounding the main compound enclosures and gift shop. Each animal has its own story/history plaque for self-guided tours and over night accommodations are available via the Safari Lodge, RV park, and camping facilities. Guided tours available and popular daily feeding times are 4 p.m. (winter) to 5 p.m. (summer). The refuge is open year round (except Christmas Day) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.."
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Level Contributor
33 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Awesome big cats and bears”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 May 2014

This Refuge has grown to 130 big cats and bears, rescued in most cases from tough conditions and lovingly restored to health. The love and dedication of the staff and interns is stamped on every face. No pouty faces for cleaning out the cages here! They have self, guided and trolley tours. If you don't have trouble with a little flat walking I suggest the guided. You will see and hear more about the animals.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Toni R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Level Contributor
27 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Lions and tigers and bears (mostly lions and tigers)”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 May 2014

A serious rescue facility for large cats (one monkey and a few bears), TCW provides more than just humane care for animals who were being raised by individuals who somehow didn't know that lions and tigers get big and for small zoos which have gone out of business. The habitats for these beautiful animals are constantly being enlarged, the staff is well informed and truly love what they do. This is NOT a zoo. It is a new home for animals who have been mistreated, neglected or simply have to have a new home, and a not to be missed education. My grandsons love the place!

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Clare K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Grateful”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 May 2014

As an animal lover and advocate, I felt very grateful for the dedication and commitment that the folks at the refuge have toward all the animals and their concern for each and every animal's well-being. Because of the need for more funds, too many of the animals are still in cages, which was very sad. But they are committed to having natural habitats for ALL the animals -- hopefully by the end of the year. Paws crossed, donations needed! Some of the natural habitats are terrific; some are smaller and more boring. I loved how they had special habitats for the elders. One of the bears had a pond and seemed happy. All of the animals are loved and cared for and lucky and in good hands. This place deserves our support and applause. Take the tour -- it is worthy

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Devajoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carbondale, Illinois
Level Contributor
91 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“See the Cats and Help Them At the Same Time”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 May 2014

This is a really wonderful sanctuary for big cats, and a few of their friends. Take the easy half-mile, one hour tour and an enthusiastic intern will share stories and quirks about each of the cats. I was amazed at how large the cats are when you see them up close, and very sad to learn how large the exotic animal trade is in the US. I was not able to visit at feeding time, but I heard from several folks it's great. They also have several bears, a coyote and a some other animals that have come to their door in need of rescue.

Many of these animals had painful paths to Turpentine Creek, and you can easily see they have a peaceful and safe place to live out their lives now. Tours and purchases in the gift shop help support the refuge. You got a big checkbook? Give them a donation. They have ambitious goals to get all the cats into their own habitats and to build a vet clinic on site. This is a place that puts the animals needs and personalities first to give them the best quality of life possible. It's a place you'll feel good spending your money.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank LHinkle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
“Wonderful!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 May 2014 via mobile

Well worth visiting! The photo tour allowed us to get absolutely amazing photos that would have been impossible otherwise. The staff is amazing and very helpful.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank cindy e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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