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“Great place” 5 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.."
Aldrich, Missouri, United States
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
“Great place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

they have lots and lots of big cats loved to hear the stories about the cats during the walking tour kind of sad that most of them are there because people tried to raise them. People need to leave wild animals alone.

Visited July 2013
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734 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Springdale, Arkansas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
“Awesome”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

We had a great time at the wildlife refuge! I've read other reviews saying it was to expensive and a rip off 'cause you can't see all the animals- well, shame on you! You have to go into this place with a great appreciation for what they are doing for these animals. I would be happy if there was never a need for such a place to exist. That being said, we really enjoyed getting to view these animals so close. The guided tour can be hard on the little ones ( my 6 y/o really struggled with wanting to pay any attention in the heat). We arrived about 3:30 walked around on our own, made the 4:00 tour and back for 5:00 feeding. I really recommend being there for the feeding. We all enjoyed listening to these incredible cats!

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Worth a trip, and they're doing good work”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

This is a great place to take the family for a couple of hours. They have dozens of lions, tigers, ligers, cougars, etc. And a bear, who turned out to be the star attraction! Many have come from private homes that were surprised they to find they were unable to care for them once they matured (duh). If you visit, keep in mind that it's designed as a place to provide a home for the animals, and not for visitor's comfort. It's a working ranch, not a zoo. During the heat of the day, the animals seek refuge out of the sun so may not be active. In the summer months, dress appropriately and bring sunscreen. Consider the annual membership for $80 that covers the family. It may not be all that more costly than the normal entry fee, and you can go back for a year for free. This is a non-profit doing good work and they can use the support. . Couple a trip here in the afternoon, then hit Eureka Springs for dinner or a cold drink.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rogers, Arkansas
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Turpentine Creek-I'm glad we live near!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

Turpentine Creek, Just outside of Eureka Springs, Arkansas is a great place to take the family for a day trip . You could spend a good portion of a day just watching these magnificent creatures (Not all cats) This place just gets bigger and bigger all of the time! Its hard to believe that there are so many cats owned by private owners that finally realize, "Hey this little kitty that was so adorable when I first purchased him is now a giant uncontrollable predator!" Most people don't know what they're getting into when they purchase these animals. Turpentine Creek to the rescue! The place is laid out in a way where you can safely observe the cats close up.( I would make sure that children were watched closely however.) The walking tour is quite a hike and unfortunately isn't well suited to those that are out of shape or have mobility compromise. Also you'd need to be physically capable of RUNNING up the hill in an event of a summer storm.( You definitely don't want to be near the fences if high winds decide to take down a tree.) There are area's to picnic and a nice gift shop to browse. There are always interns there taking care of the animals. Many of these people come from all over the world to have the privilege of working there. One time we were there and there was a team of international veterinary dentists doing check-ups and dental surgeries on the cats. We didn't see much of what was really going on as they were inside of a barn but you could feel the excitement of the staff as they went about their duties. Turpentine Creek also now has over-night lodging for those that just can't get enough of the cats. I haven't stayed there but the rooms look nice in the pictures I've seen. TC is so conveniently located that its something that you really need to put on your itinerary for northwest Arkansas. Its close to Eureka Springs, The War Eagle Mill and caverns, Beaver Lake and even Branson isn't too far away.

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chandler, Arizona
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“A must see while in Eureka Springs!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

This refuge and sanctuary for over 150 large cats and a brown bear is incredible. The habitats are as close to the real thing for these large animals as possible. The refuge is non-profit, and the workers there take a lot of pride in their work and rehabilitation of the animals.

We took the $5 trolley ride with the guide around all of the habitats and learned so much about where the cats came from, and where the refuge is going in serving the needs of these animals that have been abandoned, starved, etc, by humans, but now rescued.

It is a must see for all.

Visited July 2013
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