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Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge - Arkansas

rescue centre for big cats across USA

sunny 28 °C

We went to visit the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge centre in Arkansas, next to Eureka Springs. The centre aims to rescue any big cats from zoos or private owners in order to avoid them being put down.

The centre has 2 sections, the first one which is the one you see when you arrive is the "waiting" area, where the cats are placed when they are received in the centre. The enclosures are quite small and I first I thought "oh my god this is tiny!!!"....

But what happens is that they are put there first so they can get used to their new environment and so that a close look can be kept on them... Then the centre tries to raise some funds to build them each an enclosure and let me tell you that this costs about $20000 to $25000 for a bob cat (as they are good climbers)... so that could take up to 2 years to get...

They have 120 cats and half of them are now in their permanent enclosures which are large and beautiful.... and the others are waiting for funds to get their houses built. They have a good idea for the permanent houses as they basically share a big outside space with 2 concrete shelters so cats can be "out" every other day ... It is amazing that with their territoriality the animals are happy to share with others of their specie but it works if they have been together previously or are brothers and sisters.

Most animals have a sad story behind them... some are here because their previous zoo could not afford to keep them any longer. Some have been found as kitten ; there are many bob cats across Arkansas and it is not unusual for a baby to be found.. people take them in thinking they will adapt to domestic life and they, through dramatic events they decide they can no longer cope.

Some of the animals were inbred by their previous owners and they present some genetical defects such as cross eyes, flat nose, blindness... These animals will never be able to go anywhere else but here and this is now their home.

Here are some pictures of the cats....
P1000881.jpg actually this is one of the brown bear they have.

One of the bob cat got the visit of a non venomous snake in its enclosure which created chaos throughout the park.

This is the welcoming bird you see in the shop that greets the customers...

These are some of the big cats... absolutely beautiful creatures.

Posted by ealonso 07:04 Archived in USA Tagged springs wildlife cats creek big centre arkansas rescue eureka turpentine

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