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Beacons and Big Cats


Do you like lions, tigers and bears? Then you will love Turpentine Creek, one of Arkansas’ top 10 most popular destinations. This award winning wildlife refuge boasts over 450 acres of beautiful wilderness near Eureka Springs, AR. Accommodating around 100 exotic and native animals, Turpentine Creek is one of the largest and most well-respected Big Cat sanctuaries in North America.

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge has been rescuing big cats and other exotic animals for over 20 years. The Jackson family began taking in big cats which had no other place to turn back in 1978. In 1992, after an increasingly large number of phone calls from people who could no longer handle their “big cat pets”, the Jacksons moved to Eureka Springs and the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge was established. Today, even though the refuge focuses on rescuing big cats, there are also other types of animals which have found a home there over the years including several bears, a monkey, Macaw, coyote and a duck.


Abagail the Tiger

Some animals have achieved celebrity status at the refuge. It can’t be about the cats all the time. One of the most popular animals at TCWR is Bam Bam the Playful Bear. His silly antics and happy go lucky nature have made him a star with school kids and the public. His favorite thing to do is splash around in his pool. Poor Bam Bam doesn’t like the winter time when the pool gets drained to prevent the pipes from freezing. On occasion he wakes in the winter, sits outside and stares longingly at his empty pool before returning to his winter snooze.

Bam Bam the Playful Bear

Bam Bam takes a moment to relax in his big bear habitat


At this point you may be asking yourself, “This is all really cool but, what does it have to do with technology?” The answer is part of the Turpentine Creek big cat educational initiative. If you’ve ever been to the Little Rock Zoo you are probably familiar with BeaconSage, Aristotle Labs’ mobile engagement technology.

Turpentine Creek Goes Hi-Tech

Beacons at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge recently partnered with Aristotle to get beacons installed at their major habitats and facilities. With the new beacons, information about the animals, habitats and accommodations are automatically transmitted to visitors’ mobile devices in the form of clickable notifications. This is an awesome new addition to the educational program. Information about Bam Bam the bear and Thunder the tiger pops up on visitors’ phones as they near the enclosures. Not only are the beacons a new way to augment educational tours and school field trips, they provide information and education for those out walking on solo tours as well.

Educating the public and raising awareness about the plight of exotic animals is a very important part of what they do out at TCWR. Beacons actively engage visitors and provide a wealth of important information about the Turpentine Creek facility and its exotic animals.

 At Aristotle, we are happy as Bam Bam in water to be partnered with Turpentine Creek to help spread the word about this wonderful wildlife refuge.

Find out more or schedule a visit to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge today!

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