Arkansas Vacation: Turpentine Creek & Onyx Cave
If there's anything to know about Nature Girl (besides the fact that she loves nature) it's that she's a huge fan of animals. Ever since she was little and got into the Kratt Brothers animal shows, she's been nuts for all things animal. She knows all kinds of facts and tidbits, and never passes up an opportunity to pet any animal that will let her. So, when she said that she wanted to go to Turpentine Creek -- and then proceeded to give us all the information she knew about it -- I knew we had to take her.
One thing I had hoped to do while in Arkansas as well was to go to a cave, but thought we'd have to scrap that idea as there wasn't any terribly close to my mom's place. After doing a bit of research on Turpentine Creek, I discovered that there were a few caves close to the Refuge, so we decided to make that the last day of the trip (with an overnight stop an hour west in Bentonville).
|Cecil the Macaw lives behind the front counter of the Refuge.|
|Bam Bam the grizzly bear.|
|Donner the white tiger.|
|Khaleesi the tiger.|
We really learned a lot about the big cats, especially the tigers, and how they ended up at the Refuge. Breeding tigers for profit is a big business, believe or not, and it comes with it's own set of problems. White tigers are only created through inbreeding, and because of this have eyes problems and other issues. The Refuge has a strict No Breeding-No Kill policy, and they run strictly off entrance fees and overnight guests. This ensures that the big cats can just live out the rest of their lives peacefully and well-taken care of. I recommend this place for anyone who loves animals...especially big cats! For more about Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, click here.