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“Could have been better....” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge
239 Turpentine Creek Lane, Eureka Springs, AR 72632
479 253 5841
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Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Outdoors
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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.."
Linn, Missouri
Top Contributor
172 reviews 172 reviews
59 attraction reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
“Could have been better....”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

On a recent trip to Eureka Springs we decided to visit the Refuge. Our boys had loved the visit to the National Tiger Sanctuary in Branson last fall, so we figured it would be a win/win. It was hot the day we visited, so as we expected lots of the animals were not moving about. It cost approx $50 for our family of 4 to tour the facility. What the got us was a walk around the compound at our lesiure and a guided walk around the refuge that lasted about 45 minutes. The walk was miserable; in part because of the heat but otherwise I think we seen 2 tigers in our 45 minutes of walking. Several of the animals were told to be in lockdown that day and not available to see and the others were so high up in their enclosures that there was no possible way to see them from the trail we were on. There is not much shade on the walk or benches to rest on, so there was several people in our group complaining about the situation. My kids were ready to be done with the hike before we were half way into the tour. After the walking tour we walked around the compound. Again, a lot of the animals were in their dens and not available to be seeen. The bear was out and doing some comical stunts in his pool for the guests, which was nice.
My family of 4 all said that we prefer the sanctuary in Branson area better. The way the enclosures are built allows for a better view of the animals, even if they were resting in the shade. If you have to choose between the two, pick the National Tiger Sanctuary instead.

Visited July 2013
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scottesmith, Manager at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
Turpentine Creek is the premiere big cat refuge in the US. Hands down. I'm sorry you chose a hot day to come. You are right, the animals sleep in the hot sun. Most of the time they sleep in their dens on really hot days because they are kept much cooler. Most facilities do not have quality dens to protect their animals from scorching heat. To make your visit better come during the early morning hours. We open at 8 am. Also, to beat the heat come for the last tour of the day, 4 pm and enjoy the animals active and ready for dinner. I will let you know that they will go right back to sleep after eating! They are cats and that is what they do. So, be smart about visiting in the summer heat and know your animals. This will make your visit much more enjoyable. See you soon!
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English first
Prairie City, Iowa
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“A must-see”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

You will learn a lot about endangered tigers and enjoy seeing the beautiful animals. You will do a little walking, but not bad.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Missouri
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“A must see”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

This non profit organization has done a great job doing what they do!! Definitely a must see if your in the area. The staff is well educated and we enjoyed the walking tour and all the background information given on each cat. We were in Eureka Springs for the week of 4th of July and went back to Turpentine Creek for their display, what a fun event!! Glad we went there and the proceeds help the organization, so it was a win win!!

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas, United States
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Must visit when going to Eureka Springs: Turpentine Creek”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

I was a skeptic about visiting Turpentine Creek after visiting their website. But, when in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, we changed our mind and went to check it out. For $15 per person (all donated to the refuge) you get to spend as much time there as you want. It includes the front animals, a trolley and a guided tour. We only did the front animals, but enjoyed it and wish we could have stayed longer (plan about 3 hours). The animals are great and the people who work there are helpful. And this is about rescuing wild cats (and bears) and giving them a refuge.

Visited July 2013
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Denver, Colorado
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“A little quirky, but educational and fun!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

When my friend suggested this place, I thought it was weird that there was a big cat refuge in northern Arkansas.....but it turned out to be a lot of fun. We had two 1-year-olds and one 2-year-old in our party, and they enjoyed themselves. The walking tour is a bit long for the little ones, but it's easy enough to keep them busy while you listen to the guide talk. VERY VERY cool work that this refuge is doing for these animals.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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