EUREKA SPRINGS, Ark. – An Arkansas refuge has taken on what’s being called the largest big cat rescue in U.S. history.
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (TCWR) has led the rescue of 110 big cats and bears from a Colorado-based animal facility whose owner was in ill health and asked for help for the animals, which included more than 70 tigers.
On September 21, TCWR, in partnership with Tigers in America (TIA), bought the property and equipment in Colorado. The animals living there were all donated to TCWR with the understanding that they would put the welfare of the animals first.
This was a daunting challenge, TCWR said in a news release, but its founder and president, Tanya Smith, senior management, and the board decided to take it on.
On that day, the number of animals in TCWR’s care more than doubled. Many of the animals from Colorado are in need of veterinary care, and an enormous amount of work needs to be done before winter comes to Colorado.
So far, TCWR has moved 27 big cats to their facility in Arkansas and TIA has committed to placing and transporting the remainder of the animals who need new forever homes to the best big cat sanctuaries in the country.
TCWR has assembled a team of TCWR keepers and former TCWR interns to care for the cats in Colorado, while they perform safety improvements and emergency veterinary care. TCWR’s goal is to downsize the facility as fast as possible to be able to manage the animals as winter arrives in Colorado.
The release states “This is an enormous undertaking, and the cooperation and generosity of the animal sanctuary community cannot be overstated. This is an unprecedented showing of sanctuaries working together to make sure no big cat or exotic animal will be left behind. Everything that we do is for the animals, and TCWR wants to thank everyone who has helped accomplish this monumental task. Thank you all!”
TCWR is an accredited non-profit big cat and exotic animal refuge. Founded in 1992, TCWR has a long-standing history of working to not only save big cats but also educate the public about the struggles of big cats in captivity. Their mission is to provide a lifetime refuge for abandoned, abused, and neglected big cats with an emphasis on tigers, lions, leopards, and cougars. TCWR has over 100 animals on their 450-acre property located seven miles south of Eureka Springs.
To donate, click here.
Watch the Rescue Video below: