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.
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