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“Excellent place to visit & get close to animals”

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge
Certificate of Excellence
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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.."
Independence, MO
Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Excellent place to visit & get close to animals”
Reviewed February 12, 2012

Bring your camera, and wear good walking shoes. Depending upon time of day and what the animals are doing, this is an opportunity to get very close to them - much closer than most zoos allow. The entrance fee is going for a very good cause. You can get an all-day pass and come back later if you have arrived earlier than feeding time and want to see it.

I especially enjoyed watching the grizzly bear playing with his huge ball, and watching the macaque eat his meal. I admire cats of all descriptions, and there are many of them there to see.

If we are back in that area, we would definitely visit again.

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Jill0704
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Wichita, Kansas, United States
Level 6 Contributor
108 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Vacation Highlight!”
Reviewed February 9, 2012

If my husband would have been more excited about this place, I think he would have spontaneously combusted. We are planning a time to come back and bring our 3 children with us. Amazing place, with such an amazing story.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
Thank AdrienneM61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Appleton, Wisconsin
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Amazing! Words cannot describe...”
Reviewed January 26, 2012

I would first like to mention that I visited Turpentine Creek in 2010 for the first time, I fell so helplessly in love that I had to return again. So I decided to drive 400 miles out of my way on my most recent road trip for the sole purpose of visiting this refuge. I've been to many big cat rescues across the country and this one is by far the best. The up close interaction with the animals is priceless. Watching the caring staff/interns interact and "play" with the animals is heartwarming. Best part is that feeding time viewing is part of your admission. I have never found another place in the US that allows feeding viewing without charging extra. I literally arrived at 10am when they opened and remained in the park until closing at 5pm. There are benches near most exhibits were you can watch the animals. And if you’re lucky and patient they will even warm up to you and start to interact. I was lucky enough to play a game of "hide and seek" with two very playful ligers.

This place takes the cake! Do yourself a favor and make the trip here! Every penny goes to the care and support of the animals!

This place takes the cake! Do yourself a favor and make the trip here! Every penny goes to the care and support of the animals!

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
Thank OhThePlacesYouWillGo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texarkana, Texas
2 reviews
“I absolutely love this place, can't get enough of it!”
Reviewed January 25, 2012

This is my fourth trip to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge and have spent twp nights at the compound each time. This last time I took my 10 year old grandson (who had been once before). These animals have been abused and have finally found a home where they are loved and cared for. The staff and interns that work here are tireless in their efforts to make sure they are fed, cages and areas kept clean and maintain a wonderful attitude. If you go, you must spend the night and hear the wonderful caroling of the lions, the chuffing, and even the howling of Cheyenne the Coyote (who thinks he's a lion when the noise starts up) After going four times, I definitely have my favorites from Loretta white tiger to three legged Haley lion. they are all wonderful.

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
Thank linda p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bella Vista, Arkansas
2 reviews
“Very cool”
Reviewed January 20, 2012

It is amazing to get so close to these amazing animals. You walk out of the visitor center and was stunned at my first glance at the tigers, cats and other animals. The walking tour is a must to see the whole refuge, including the bears. My family loves this place and try to make at least one visit every year.

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
Thank Deatons04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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