Since 1992, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (TCWR) in Eureka Springs has been one of the most popular attractions in Northwest Arkansas. Established as a non-profit, they house some of the worlds rarest creatures all for the sake of saving abandoned and misplaced large cats … and one popular grizzly bear.
TCWR will introduce their grizzly bear, Bam Bam, to his new enlarged habitat with a grand opening celebration at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3. Bam Bam, a 6-year-old male grizzly bear rescued by TCWR in 2009 from a private owner, has become a visitor favorite with his “hind-n-seek” antics and love of his miniature stock tank soaking pool. Thanks to private and corporate donors, Bam Bam will move from a small concrete and wire enclosure to almost a half-acre natural habitat featuring an in-ground swimming pool with a waterfall.
Bam Bam will be relocated from his current enclosure to his new indoor den in the all-new Bear Bungalow Building. His den door will be opened an 10 a.m. with a special ceremony so visitors can see Bam Bam feel grass between his paws for the first time.
“I can’t begin to tell you how excited all of us are to see Bam Bam experience his new home. His custom designed pool will be a big hit thanks to the generosity of Randy Murray and his wonderful team at Aquacrete out of Bella Vista,” said Tanya Smith, TCWR president and co-founder. “This highlights our goal of replacing all concrete enclosures with large, natural habitats where our animals can run and play for the rest of their lives,” added Smith.
All interns, staff and the refuge board of directors will be on hand for this historic achievement by Arkansas’ most popular wildlife sanctuary. The refuge opens at 9 a.m. for wildlife viewing with hourly Walking Tours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Trolley tours also available. Wildlife feedings start at 5 p.m.
Donations and volunteers are welcome and help pay for ongoing care of more than 130 tigers, lions, cougars, bears and other endangered wildlife making TCWR a life-long home. For refuge details, visit www.turpentinecreek.org or call (479) 253-5841.
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (TCWR) will hold it’s 18th annual Howl-O-Ween Spooktacular, Oct. 26, from 7 to 9 p.m. Games, food and a children’s costume contest provide a fun experience for all ages.
The main refuge compound will be open to experience the night habits of lions, tigers, cougars, bobcats and the ever-popular grizzly bear, Bam Bam. The annual Halloween party is the only time the refuge animals can be viewed in the dark of night.