Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, Eureka Springs: Hours, Address, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge Reviews: 4.5/5

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge
4.5
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
About
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 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 are available from 10am until 3pm.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
The area
Address
Popular mentions

4.5
2,327 reviews
Excellent
1,877
Very good
315
Average
104
Poor
25
Terrible
8

Travis
45 contributions
Good Day
Jun 2021 • Family
We loved this place.We was taught a lot of information about the tigers and the guide new her stuff.Very friendly place and it’s a most do.
Written June 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Elaine H
1 contribution
A long, boring rant erroneously called a "tour"
Jun 2021 • Couples
We visited for the 3:00 tour. The bear up front was adorable and fun. And that was the end of the positive. The first thing our guide told us was that we had just paid $50 and the animals are really only active at 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. Had we known that, we'd have waited an hour for the later tour. We rode around listening to her literally repeat the same sentences over and over at each cage, fussing and fuming about animal abuse rather than sharing interesting things about the cats...and most of said cats were sleeping in their indoor enclosure and couldn't be seen. Of the maybe 15 we saw, only 2 so much as moved a muscle. If the animals are only active twice a day, then only give 2 tours per day. And please make it a pleasant tour, not a long sermon on not abusing animals...I don't abuse animals and I don't support animal abuse, so you wasted my time, your breath, and my money.
Written June 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mary B
24 contributions
Nice tour!
Jun 2021
A very knowledgeable guide provides commentary about each animal as you ride around the grounds on a tram. Tour takes approximately 45 minutes. Well worth the time.
Written June 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Luke M
12 contributions
A Must-See Attraction
Jun 2021 • Friends
Despite the heat, very neat visit with family including a two year old and 7 month old. The “explore” area allows you to walk along several enclosures/habitats featuring a brown bear, Jaguar, and several tigers.

All of the enclosures are set up well so that most of the animals can be easily seen. The tram portion of the tour was also enjoyable. Most of the enclosures are along the right side of the tram (sit towards the middle of the tram to stay in the shade).

Very clean sanctuary and friendly staff. Absolutely worth the visit if you’re in the area.

They’re still requiring masks within the “explore” portion of the park, but not during the tram ride.
Written June 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jennifer N
4 contributions
Sweet Visit
Jun 2021 • Family
Beautiful care for these beautiful animals. So good to see what Turpentine Creek does. Go early in the day during the summer months. It gets hot. We had a helpful and entertaining guide.
Written June 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hi Jennifer! Thanks for taking time to review us... and that's some GREAT ADVICE! It gets hot for the animals too, so they are always more active early in the day before that sun gets too high! We appreciate your support! Take care. :-)
Written June 17, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Teresa H
2 contributions
Love the cats. Disappointed saw only 1 bear
Jun 2021 • Couples
Very informative on the big cats. It appears they do everything they can to make the lion and tiger comfortable, happy and ways to entertain themselves. They advertise they have bears. But you only get to see one bear, bam-bam at the very beginning. He didn't seem to have the same luxuries. Though there was a pool in the enclosure that was it. He just walked in. Circles. Looked sad made me sad
Written June 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hi Teresah, So glad you came to see us! Sorry to hear that you were disappointed. We really appreciate your sincere concern for Bam-bam's well being and happiness - Thank you! I think what you were witnessing was Bam-Bam being intensely interested in a recent addition to our facility, a jaguar adjacent to his habitat. Bam-Bam is normally an extremely outgoing and playful bear that enjoys interacting with his onlookers and is very aware of his surroundings! So much so, that he is commonly referred to as "Bam-Bam the Ham Ham." In addition to him enjoying human attention, we also scatter feed him in his outer area, and provide him with a large assortment of toys - which he also takes great pleasure in! He enjoys people watching and sometimes even attempts to entice neighbors in nearby habitats in a game of chase! Because he is so attentive to his surroundings, he is acutely aware that there is a new animal next to him... and he is very intent on finding out all about it! As far as not seeing enough bears - although we have several other bears at our facility, they are all located in the two areas that we have temporarily suspended from our tours, due to Covid; Rescue Ridge and the Bear Tunnel. Although we don't have information regarding the re-opening of those areas at this time, we would like to offer you a complimentary replacement tour. For the best experience, we recommend the 9:00 a.m. tour, when the animals are most active. You may opt to schedule it now, or wait until all areas of our refuge are open to tours. You may contact our office and ask to speak with Gianna or Katelyn at 479-253-5841 or email us at Tigers@TCWR.org. We look forward to seeing you, and once again, we appreciate your concern for the welfare of our animals!
Written June 11, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Hernando E
Vienna, WV141 contributions
Glad to find this type of Refuge in this area
Jun 2021
The Refuge is a few miles outside of town but easy to find.
COVID-19 restrictions require them to offer tours via tram (where you can remove your masks),
The guide was personable and knowledgeable.
Some of the back stories of the animals in residence were quite sad.
As is typical for these facilities, some of the animals were energetic and curious, while others were lethargic.
Although not perfect, I'm glad they have better living quarters than they did before they arrived at the Refuge.
A good experience and worthy cause overall.
Written June 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Thank you for coming to see us Hernando! As a charitable organization everything we provide these animals is made possible by your visit and / or donation, and those of others like you! So THANK YOU!!!! As far as some of the animals being lethargic, it's actually just the nature of big cats (like house cats) that like to sleep as much as 18-22 hours per day! :-) Thanks again for coming to see us, and for taking the time to write a review! Take care.
Written June 11, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

ClickerM
Sandoval, IL233 contributions
Great place, Great cause.
Jun 2021
Our 2nd trip. Really enjoy this wildlife refuge. Their cause is admirable. I've said it before, so much nicer than a zoo. Most zoos do not have the large cats to see like TCWR does...and they are there for the best reasons. This trip was a little different due to covid...our tour was via tram. First visit we could do by foot, which I enjoyed more...but we understand and were happy to abide by all safety rules...no problem wearing a mask for us. You will see animals here you may never get to see elsewhere, and from what I understand that is sad in it's own way...due to people trying to mix breed animals that should not. But so nice these innocent animals have a caring place to live. Safety is the top concern, these are not pets, these are animals and they have instincts...don't behave improperly around them and upset them. Enjoy their beauty and the fact they are there. Great place and great mission.
Written June 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Wow! What a beautifully written review! Thank you so much for your support - you did a lovely job of summarizing why we are here and why we do what we do! None of it would be possible without the loving support of visitors such as you! So thank you! Hope to see you again soon! Take care.
Written June 8, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Celeste S
Centerton, AR2 contributions
Masks outside, Seriously?
Jun 2021 • Family
How long will they require masks to be worn OUTSIDE? It’s utterly ridiculous that they’re still requiring masks to be worn outside. The CDC says that vaccinated people do not need to wear masks inside or outside. Your animals in the enclosures in the discovery area are more than 6’ away from people AND it’s OUTSIDE. If you follow the science, you would know that the chances of an animal contracting COVID-19 are next to nothing under these circumstances even if the person is not vaccinated. Now consider that a significant percentage of the population IS vaccinated and that number goes even closer to zero. So, it’s ridiculous to force people who want to support your mission through membership to participate in a pretend charade by wearing masks on a hot, humid day to prevent the spread of a virus that has less than .01% chance of spreading to a tiger.
Written June 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hi Celeste, First, please allow me to thank you for visiting Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge! As a charitable organization that rescues abused, neglected and abandoned animals from wildlife trafficking, we rely solely on admission fees and donations from customers such as yourself! You and others like you, make everything we do for these amazing creatures possible! We are also grateful to hear that you “support our mission with membership” as you stated in your review, and hope that you can extend us some understanding in regard to our current policy that we have in place to protect our animals…. Despite the statistic you sited in your review, we are still seeing big cats, not just infected with Covid, but dying from it! As a true wildlife sanctuary, we are here to protect every last animal we have been entrusted with (in whatever form that takes) and in this case - it means protecting them from a medical condition that they are vulnerable to, and currently not able to be vaccinated against. The most recent death was just 2 days prior to your post, on June 4th, 2021. Below are just a couple of recent headlines regarding the effect of Covid on big cats, with source links and highlights. Thank you again for your patronage and support. Source: The Sun News Headline: “MAJESTIC LIONESS DIES OF COVID AT INDIAN ZOO WHERE EIGHT OTHER BIG CATS HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE KILLER VIRUS.” SOURCE LINK: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/15192635/lioness-dies-covid-zoo-india-virus-chennai/ By Alice Peacock, 7 Jun 2021 “Samples from 11 lions had been sent for analysis at the end of May, after five of the big cats living in the zoo’s Animal House 1 showed signs of appetite loss and symptoms of Covid-19, such as coughing. A zoo statement read: ‘As per the laboratory test results furnished by the Institute, samples in respect of nine lions of the 11 sent have tested positive for SARS COV-2’. Nasal and rectal swabs, along with faecal samples from the nine lions were sent for further tests. Neela died on June 3, while these samples were being processed. Reports of animals being infected with Covid-19 have circulated since the beginning of the pandemic last year, with cats - of the big and the small varieties - seemingly more susceptible to the virus. Earlier this year, two white tiger cubs died of Covid-19 infection in a Pakistan zoo after an outbreak. The 11-week-old cubs died in the Lahore Zoo four days after beginning treatment for what zoo staff believed was feline panleukopenia.” Headline: “8 BIG CATS CONFIRMED TESTED POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS AT NY ZOO.” Source: ABC News SOURCE LINK: https://abcnews.go.com/US/big-cats-test-positive-covid-19-zookeeper-accidentally/story?id=70303070 ByJon Haworth, April 23, 2020 “Eight big cats at the Bronx Zoo have been discovered to have tested positive for COVID-19. Staff at the Bronx Zoo, which has been closed since March 16, first reported that a four-year-old female Malayan tiger named Nadia had tested positive for COVID-19 on April 5 and that three other tigers and three African lions were also showing similar symptoms but had yet to be tested. However, after test samples from Nadia were collected from her nose, throat and respiratory tract while she was under anesthesia, the zoo confirmed that the three tigers and three African lions that were exhibiting coughing symptoms all tested positive for COVID-19. Another tiger that did not show any symptoms for coronavirus was also tested was subsequently found to have tested positive for the disease bringing the total number of sick cats at the zoo, five tigers and three lions, to eight. The cats contracted the virus from ‘a person caring for them who was asymptomatically infected with the virus or before that person developed symptoms,’ according to an April 5 statement from the zoo.”
Written June 8, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

tigerfan_ksparks
12 contributions
TCWR is a must see
May 2021 • Couples
We really enjoyed looking at the animals in the discovery area. It was great seeing Bam Bam have fun. The tram ride around the park was great & very informative. The staff are very friendly. Had a great time.
Written May 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hi TigerFan! Thanks so much for coming to see us and for the thumbs up! We are 100% supported by the admission and donations of visitors such as yourself! So a great big thank you to YOU on behalf of all our animals!!! Come see us again soon!
Written June 1, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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