If you have plans to visit Eureka Springs any time in the future, we can’t recommend a visit to the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge enough. Not only does the refuge provide a wonderful service to the “big cats” that need it, but in turn it provides a beautiful and fun attraction to those visiting Eureka Springs. It’s an ideal place to visit for the animal lover in you.
Spring is blooming in Eureka Springs, and the Ozarks are beckoning. When you visit, be sure to stay at our romantic Eureka Springs Bed and Breakfast, located just minutes from downtown Eureka Springs’ historic district and all the top attractions, shopping, and restaurants this quaint Victorian town has to offer. There’s a reason we’ve been rated the top Bed and Breakfast in Eureka Springs, but you’ll have to come for a visit to see it for yourself. Book your room at our luxury Eureka Springs Bed and Breakfast today!
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge
The Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge serves as a non-profit rescue organization for abandoned, abused, and neglected “big cats.” Their emphasis has been on tigers, lions, leopards, and cougars. They provide a lifetime refuge for these animals, all the while working tirelessly to end the Exotic Animal Trade that leads to their abuse and neglect.
The founded of Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge rescued their first abandoned lion cub in 1978, but it wasn’t until 1991, when 42 big cats were rescued overnight, that the 460-acre ranch now known as the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge was born. Though the work at this refuge has been ongoing over these past several decades, it wasn’t until 2015 that the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge reached verified status, and then in 2017 it was accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, thus marking it as a sanctuary that upholds the highest standards of animal care and safely. You can read more about the refuge’s incredible history on its website.
Today, there are almost 100 animals at the refuge, including lions, tigers, leopards, cougars, bobcats, bears, ligers, servals, a monkey, a coatimundi, and a macaw. The Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is open to visitors daily throughout the year, with the exception of Christmas Day. Tickets can be purchased online or at the facility. They offer both guided walking tours and guided trolley tours throughout the day, too, which leave once an hour.
Though you are free to enjoy a self-guided tour of the refuge, approximately half of the animals live in the guided tour area, meaning you won’t see all the animals unless you take a guided tour. Moreover, taking a guided tour gives you the opportunity to hear about the histories of both the animals and the sanctuary itself. The guided walking and trolley tours follow the same path, so choose whichever is best for you. Plan to take at least an hour touring the facility.
The Best Eureka Springs Bed and Breakfast
After visiting this incredible wildlife sanctuary, we recommend you then head into downtown Eureka Springs to browse shops, grab a glass of wine, beer, or a cocktail, and enjoy dinner at one of the top Eureka Springs Restaurants. We have an updated list of our favorites on a recent blog.
When you’re done for the day, retreat back to the comfortable accommodations at our Eureka Springs Bed and Breakfast, offering you the very best of the best in lodging. Wake to a gourmet breakfast each morning, enjoy the scenic views of the Ozarks from our wrap-around porch, and let us shower you with the hospitality we’re known for. We offer pet-friendly accommodations, too, so you animal lovers have no need to part from your beloved pets while visiting us.