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“a great idea gone astray”

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: "With over 100 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 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 4pm (Summer) or 3pm (Winter). The refuge is open year round (except Christmas Day) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.."
Oxford, Arkansas, United States
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“a great idea gone astray”
Reviewed June 29, 2013

Many of the cats do not have much room to move. Most of these are rescued animals so you have to wonder which kinder: a small area to pace back and forth or to go on to the level of existence.

Visited October 2012
Thank JessP56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
scottesmith, Manager at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, responded to this review, July 2, 2013
We are terribly sorry you missed our mission and progress. Since 2001 we have provided 84% of our animals new, large enclosures. We have work to do and must continue building until all the animals can run. Join our cause and help us progress!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,696 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Fun in the Sun”
Reviewed June 29, 2013 via mobile

So if you go, bring water, closed toe shoes, sunscreen and a hat. They have tours on the hour which are worth taking to see the larger enclosures. There is a moderately priced snack bar. The best time to go is 3:30 pm to catch the 4 pm tour (45 minutes around a dirt road loop) and 5 pm (summertime) feeding when the animals start to be very active (and a little grumpy which makes it exciting)!

Visited June 2013
3 Thank Montymeg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Concordia, Missouri
2 reviews
Reviewed June 24, 2013

Thoroughly enjoyed our 20th anniversary trip to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. We will definitely be back to visit again and again!

Visited June 2013
Thank heathera475
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pineville mo
Level 5 Contributor
44 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2013

What a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. They take wonderful care of so many animals and tell you the stories of how the animals came to live there. Feeding time was an adventure, nothing like watching and hearing those big cats eat a meal. The people who intern there are very friendly and are glad to answer any questions that you have. If you love animals you will love spending the afternoon here. They also offer cabin rentals, but I cant review those as I have not gotten the opportunity to stay in one yet.

Visited April 2013
Thank travibabiesgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arkadelphia AR
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Fun for the Kids”
Reviewed June 23, 2013

This big cat/other animal rescue provides a wonderful experience for kids. The refuge is constantly building habitats for the animals that they have rescued, and there are plaques that explain where the animals lived prior to being brought to Turpentine Creek. Some of their stories are sad and some comical. The animals in the smaller pens are the ones on a waiting list for a habitat, and they all look as they have been well cared for. Our guide was very knowledgeable. The highlight of our visit was watching one of the employees scratch the ear of a female mountain lion through the fence. She actually meowed and then purred like a house cat. I would recommend going at around 5 p.m. when they feed the animals. We were there in the heat of the day, and baked on the walking tour.

Visited June 2013
1 Thank dawnah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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