Turpentine Creek Announces Largest Big Cat Rescue

Turpentine Creek Announces Largest Big Cat Rescue

Photo by Kyle Jorgensen, TCWR
Rescuers at the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge bring a tiger out of unhealthy and dangerous conditions to its new residence.

Staff Report

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is currently in the midst of their largest rescue effort in their 20-year history.

The refuge, located 7 miles south of Eureka Springs, has been asked by the sheriff in Mountainburg to rescue 34 tigers, leopards and cougars. The animals’ current owner is in failing health and the caging/containment for the big cats has fallen into disrepair over the past several years.

The first call from the sheriff to Turpentine Creek was on Oct. 29. In the next few weeks, the TCWR staff members visited the property in question several times. To date, they have relocated six tigers — one of which required urgent veterinary assistance — to their refuge near Eureka Springs.

The remaining 30 cats are all in good health but remain in need of immediate rescue due to the hazardous conditions of their current living quarters and the ill health of their present owner.

“We’re full at the seems right now. By rearranging some cats we may be able to bring in the small cats, but we’re at 100 percent capacity. To move any more animals here we have to build adequate enclosures,” said Vice President of TCWR, Scott Smith.

The existing policy, calls for TCWR to rescue as many of the cats as possible as quickly as possible. With over 100 big cats already living at their facility, the need for additional housing/cages for the new rescues is vital.

TCWR has collected donations using mainly social media, Smith said, that will allow them to begin building proper enclosures on a portion of their 459 acres.

Smith explained that just to save one cat and build one of these enclosures it costs TCWR about $7,000.

Turpentine Creek is asking for monetary donations and/or donations of appropriate caging material(s) to facilitate their efforts in this undertaking.

For information regarding the rescue in question, please contact Tanya Smith at (479) 253-3715 tanya@turpentinecreek.org or Scott Smith at (479) 253-3318 scott@turpentinecreek.org

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