by Brenda Nelson October. 26, 2012 5891 views

Again, if you'll click on each animal's link, you'll find photos and names of the entire cat population at TURPENTINE CREEK WILDLIFE REFUGE (TCWR)

The number one priority of TCWF is to provide a lifetime residence for all rescued animals with the care, safety, and well being of the animals. TCWR has developed a reputation for this compassionate care across the country with law enforcement, universities, and others sharing a commitment to the Big Cats and other animals. International interns work for periods of 6 months onsite before moving into positions with major animal facilities around the world.

TCWR’s protocol is that we do not buy, sell, or trade any of our animals; and when they come to Turpentine Creek, they have come to live in their lifetime home. And TCWR is not a breeding facility. Of the many refuges in the United States, TCWR is one of the largest facilities of its kind open to the public anywhere in the world. The public may roam among the cages, but never between the 10' exterior and interior fences, where only staff is allowed. Our 128 Big Cats have been rescued from many states across the country including Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, New York, Kansas, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Montana, and Tennessee and are provided a home in a caring and nurturing environment. Once the animal arrives at TCWR, it is evaluated by our own onsite veterinarian(s), provided any medical attention deemed necessary, neutered/spayed where applicable, and kept in quarantine for a period of at least four to six weeks before being integrated into the existing population.

Since 2007, USDA regulations stipulate that no exotic cats be de-clawed, so a vast majority of our cats still have their claws. Safety for the animals, staff, and visitors is paramount. Staff members do not physically enter cages of cats weighing more than 35 pounds. All cats and dangerous animals are fed, medicated, cleaned, and attended to from outside their respective cages and/or habitat areas.

Although safety is the main approach for all personnel, the needs of the animals are the first priority of all staff that cares directly for the animals that reside at TCWR. No matter what the weather, all cages and habitat areas are cleaned daily. Animals are fed daily according to their dietary needs. Much of our food is provided on a regular basis by WalMart Stores and Tyson Foods, both of Arkansas. Water dishes are cleaned and filled three times daily. Animals are routinely checked for indications of impending health problems, i.e. lethargy, lack of appetite, change in stool consistency, or changes in behavior. All animals have either shade cloths and/or access to shaded areas at all times. Cement dens are provided for the cats and bears, which provide warm or cool refuges as the weather dictates and also provides the animals a safe, secluded place for privacy.

During the hot summer months, a combination of swimming pools, mist systems, and water baths are provided for the animals. During extremely cold weather, the animals that require extra insulation against frigid temperatures are provided straw and blankets in their dens. Our leopard habitat was opened in July of 2010 and includes a heated building for the comfort of the animals living in the habitat.

In 2010 TCWR worked with the University of Arkansas, and their engineering department came up with a prototype of a heat pad to be placed in the floor of each den box. We put one in the den of a lion that has arthritis and it helped her immensely.

Our ultimate goal is to have all of our animals housed in natural habitats. Since 1998 we have gained invaluable experience in the construction of natural habitat enclosures and currently have over 70 of our 125 Big Cats and our six Black Bears ‘released’ into them. At present, we have completed thirty naturally enhanced areas for our large carnivores, ranging in size from 8,000 sq. ft. to 20,000 sq. ft., which includes natural grasses, trees and undergrowth. Each habitat houses between two to six Big Cats and/or the bears, and we have one small natural enclosure that is home to a rescued coyote. Material costs for these projects run $25,000-$50,000 each.

This is one of our favorite places to go with a camera. Turpentine Creek is owned by a fellow Rotarian and I've included links for each species so you can actually go see ALL the animals by name that they protect, including the LIONS [turpentinecreek.org]. And I specifically chose the shots of the cats sleeping/napping!

This cat is called a LIGER [turpentinecreek.org], which is a cross between a lion and a tiger, thus the great markings!

The compounds have open ranges for the animals, and you can see their beautiful views of the Ozark Mountains behind this TIGER [turpentinecreek.org] compound

The photos have been taken through two security fences, as with this Bengal tiger. All of the animals here have been rescued exotic animals that have often been mistreated or abandoned - and they are not tame.

This is Zeus, a Siberian (White) tiger - his sister ZENA [turpentinecreek.org] is in the adjoining compound

This beauty is a LEOPARD [turpentinecreek.org]

If you look carefully, you can still see the spots on this Black Leopard named Zambo.

A pretty little kitten? This BOBCAT [turpentinecreek.org] is quite a predator!

The COUGAR [turpentinecreek.org] is one of the most dangerous and prolific hunters across the United States, and the source of several deaths and maimings of small children and joggers every year! The females are neutered when they arrive at TCWR because when they come into matiing season, their high-pitched screams bring in the local mountain lions that live near the compound - and they are extremely dangerous in the wild.

One of the many natural and spacious living spaces for these magnificent animals.

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There are 14 comments , add yours!
Christa 8 years, 5 months ago

Impressive close-ups of these beautiful felines.

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Aranel 8 years, 5 months ago

Splendid set !

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Tomie Poodle 8 years, 5 months ago

beautiful animals! but shhhht! don't awake them!

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Sandra Vermeulen 8 years, 5 months ago

This is a beautiful post, and not only because your pictures are amazing, but also by the information. Thank you so much for sharing Brenda.

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Gonia 8 years, 5 months ago

these cats are too big for me! my cat is sleeping on me, can you imagine how I will look after night with such cats sleeping on me!?

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Gillian Parsons 8 years, 5 months ago

Such wonderful captures of the animals faces..........................and the information so helpful thank you.

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Moira 8 years, 5 months ago

Very good report Brenda and great shots.
That's the advantage of living in such a vast country you have the space for these wild animals to feel
" free" although caged and cared for.

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Darlene Foster 8 years, 5 months ago

Some great shots! Don't you wish sometimes that the fences could be... out of the picture?

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Josy 8 years, 5 months ago

Excellent report Brenda ! Your shots are wonderful. 4 goes with me.... :)

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Sara G 8 years, 5 months ago

Excellent shots of these exotic cats..My fav is #4..just a sleeping kitty...:-)

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Larry Nelson 8 years, 5 months ago

Great coverage on a wonderful facility that not only takes care of wild animals, but also provide valuable training for the interns who spend time working there.

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Joe 8 years, 5 months ago

Super set, Brenda. It's great to have places where the public can see such beautiful wildlife. It's also great to see that there are organizations that provide care for these majestic creatures. Cats no matter the size are always so much fun to watch. Love the majestic face of the lion in #1 and the sleeping black leopard in #7, but they are all beautiful.

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Teramoon 8 years, 5 months ago

What beautiful animals the felines! It must be very exciting and impressive to see them, feel them so near ... All your photoreports are fascinating Brenda :))

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Yves Monast 8 years, 5 months ago

lovely cats aspecilly the tiger well done....

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
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