by: Jacob Blount, Ozarks First
Turpentine Creek is one of many animal caretakers who have worked overtime to ensure their animals are safe from the low temperatures.
The wildlife rescue located in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, made it through the freezing temperatures with only some damages to their water lines. However, Tanya Smith, founder of Turpentine Creek, said the winter weather did cause some challenges.
“We’ve had a lot of broken pipes even though we did winterize for everything and thought we were prepared, but unfortunately, we’ve had Bambam’s building, which is our big grizzly bear. It had pipes burst,” said Smith.
Smith said the water spigots have also been freezing, but fortunately, they haven’t lost power.
As for now, interns are taking extra precautions when giving freshwater to the big cats.
“The last thing we want to do is slip and slide on the ice when you’re dealing with large predators,” said Smith.
Unfortunately, the freezing temperatures have impacted more than just the animal habitats.
“The housing for these hardworking interns is freezing up and leaking on the interior now that it’s starting to thaw,” said Smith.
It’s been a tough week, but Smith knows winter storms have caused catastrophes throughout the country.
“The ice storm in Texas, I’m the chair of the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance Rescue Committee, and we’ve been getting calls on other facilities down there,” said Smith. “Unfortunately, a primate facility has lost a lot of monkeys because their backup generators didn’t work.”
Turpentine Creek has been closed to the public because of the snowstorms but will try to reopen on Monday, Feb. 22.
Workers at the refuge are preparing for a higher electric and gas bill this month since it took extra energy to keep many of the animals warm. Click here if you would like to donate to Turpentine Creek.