Quitman, Arkansas Rescue 2002 - Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, Part 4
June 03, 2011
In the fall of 2002, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge was called to a breeding facility in Quitman, AR. The owner, who specialized in selling big cats as "pets," said his population had grown too large to care for. He called TCWR to take some of his 66 cats off his hands. When the rescue crew returned to Turpentine Creek, they had six starved tigers with them, all one year old or younger.
Just a few weeks after these tigers were removed; four lions from the breeding facility broke out of their caging and killed a camel. All four were subsequently shot and killed. It was clear that the remaining animals were in desperate need of help. When TCWR asked the owner what could be done, he responded by stating that he would "probably just euthanize them." Unwilling to let 56 animals be killed, a huge relocation program was begun. A total of 21 cats found a home at Turpentine Creek, with the remaining cats resettled to a refuge in Tennessee.
Even with the cats finally in safe caging and on a steady diet, the malnutrition and inbreeding they experienced had long term affects. Abscessed teeth, broken bones, and seizures were among the list of medical problems encountered, requiring long-term intensive care. But today, all the surviving Quitman cats are healthy and happy in natural habitats where they can run and play. It is hard to imagine, as you see them romping and playing, that they had once been so neglected. Thanks to the refuge, they now live the life they deserve.
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge will be visiting Mid-Continent Public Library branches starting on June 6th, and they will be here at the Excelsior Springs Branch on June 8th at both 2 p.m. and at 3 p.m. You can call us for more information at 630-6721.
Excelsior Springs Branch
Check back here in a week for the next part in this blog series!Tags: Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, lions, family programs, events, cats, animals