Turpentine Creek ‘Ambushed’

Influx of tigers marks 20th anniversary of refuge

Posted: December 21, 2012 at 3:20 a.m.

Tanya Smith, one of the founders of Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge near Eureka Springs, greets a new arrival.

For Tanya Smith, the tagline for 2012 might be “guess who’s coming to dinner.” Since Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge opened 20 years ago near Eureka Springs, voraciously hungry new residents have turned up regularly. But 2012 was the first time they came in an “ambush” — although that describes both a group of tigers and the situation of six tigers and one cougar arriving at the refuge at the time Turpentine Creek was founded by Tanya Smith and her parents in 1992, prompted by three cattle trailers full of lions and tigers — 42 of them — showing up on the family’s doorstep.

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Whats Up, Pages 14 on 12/21/2012