Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is a licensed safe haven mainly for big cats, with current animals including lions, tigers, cougars, and bears, and they welcome families just like yours to visit!
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge's mission is to rescue and provide lifelong, compassionate care to neglected and abused victims of the exotic animal trade. The non-profit, rescue facility opens to the public at 9:00 a.m. and offers guided tours every day of the year except for Christmas day. The 459-acre ranch is situated atop the beautiful Ozark Mountains, seven miles south of Eureka Springs, Arkansas on scenic Highway 23.
Visiting the facility and learning about its mission is a truly unique experience for all animal lovers. They care for approximately 100 exotic and native animals including Bengal and Siberian tigers; African lions and servals; bobcats, cougars, and black bears; ligers and leopards; and a grizzly bear, just to name a few. The majority of animals run and play – just as they would in the wild – in large, natural habitats on the property.
Your admission is an all-day pass that includes access to the self-guided Discovery Area and a guided open-air tram tour around a ½ mile tour loop. The Discovery Area is available to you during regular operating hours and can be explored at your leisure. They have provided educational signage throughout the space to help you learn about each species within the area and a knowledgeable guide is on hand to answer questions. Guided tram tours last approximately 45 minutes and are conducted every hour on the hour between 9 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (summer hours) by knowledgeable interns/staff. If mobility is a concern, tram tours are wheelchair accessible. Winter hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m, (change to winter hours with switch from Daylight Savings Time). They also have a well-stocked gift shop for you to purchase snacks, memorabilia, and other souvenirs during your visit. If you intend to bring a large group to the Refuge, or if your group has special needs, please call or email to make arrangements with the Education team at (479) 253-5841 ext. 3 or [email protected].
Lodging Accommodations on the Refuge
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge offers a variety of Africa in the Ozarks lodging accommodations, each option providing its own unique experience. The price of lodging includes complimentary admission for two guests, as well as unlimited access to the Discovery Area and two guided tram tours daily during regular operating hours.
The majority of their animal population have been rescued from private ownership or defunct facilities, and they have very emotional pasts. Subsequently, as a rescue facility, they do not buy, sell, trade, breed or loan out their animals. While at times they do have cubs, they do not condone cub petting or offer interactive photo opportunities with their animals. All of their residents are special, beautiful, and well-loved. So please consider visiting the Refuge to learn their stories and more about their mission. We’re confident you’ll have an unforgettable experience!
$15 (Ages 4-12), $20 (Ages 13-19)
Seniors & Veterans $10
The entire ethos is to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife permanently who have been neglected, so your visit will help support them!
Habitat Tours and Keeper Talks are also available without booking, times are posted on the site.
They offer outreach programs, summer camps, workshops and more to allow kids to be educated on animals, conservation and even exotic pet trade. An invaluable learning experience for the kids
Just give them a call to chat about accessibility, they will be happy to help!
Several annual seasonal events are held which are well worth watching out for!