Our founder and his family of five moved onto the property and lived in a small red cabin, off the grid and with no running water. They started clearing land by hand, building enclosures, and preparing a place for unwanted tigers, as they recruited any volunteer that they could find to help build and care for the cats.
At first, Tiger Creek could only afford small enclosures. It was understood that this wouldn’t be permanent, but for the time being, it would work. There were struggles and some challenges were overwhelming, but they knew there was no turning back.
With nothing but a passion for animals and a concern about the plight of the tiger, Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge (Tiger Creek) in 1997. By 1998, Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge opened its doors on 25 acres.
As the public started to show interest in Tiger Creek, we wanted to allow visitors entry but had limited funds crucial to creating the remarkable experience intended for guests. We were nervous that they would not have the support needed to continue the success in changing the lives of these big cats. But over time, we garnered support from people across the globe. People love what we do for these big cats, and that’s why Tiger Creek is still here today.
With small steps, our founder moved out of the little red cabin and turned it into an intermediate feed room. That little red cabin has now been scheduled to be a part the tour for the visitors as a reminder of Tiger Creek’s humble beginning. A small kiosk was added that served as a check-in point for visitors and offered a few souvenirs.
Tiger Creek has seen a lot of changes over the years as it continues development and builds habitats exceeding industry standards. Each new habitat houses an area where cats can escape the elements or receive medical treatment when needed. The exterior of each house is finished in stone, which remains cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Automatic watering systems provide fresh water round the clock, and every house has lounging platforms. Black, coated chain link helps our guests see the cats more clearly in a natural setting with trees and grass. There’s room for running, tubs of water for cooling off in, and platforms for lounging on. The original old parking lot has since been converted into a small cat section. Cougars, servals, and other smaller felines like to climb and lounge up high while looking down on everyone, and they can do just that in these new habitats.
Tiger Creek no longer has the cramped little red cabin filled with freezers; instead, a walk-in cooler and freezer provide a space to prepare and store food for the big cats.
To help numerous species of animals in 2017, Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge was rebranded as Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary. To expand these services, the company underwent a name change as well. Tiger Creek now serves under the National Foundation for Rescued Animals.