Before wildlife refuges, cat fanciers would often resort to feeding housecats dangerously rich diets of pizza puffs and Miracle Grow to fatten the felines to leonine proportions. Get an up-close-and-personal look at genuinely big cats with today’s Groupon to Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge. Choose one of the following options:
- $18 for a one-year individual membership (a $36 value)
- $28 for a one-year family membership (a $56 value)
Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge is home to more than 40 rescued tigers, cougars, leopards, lions, and pumas. The refuge is currently celebrating its 15th year of feline fostering, and the expansive facility—with its waterfalls, re-created habitats, and exercise yards—provides a perfect play or sulking area for the beauteous beasts. Membership includes free admission to the park for a whole year (plus one guest with individual membership), a membership card, a 10% discount at the park’s shop, a subscription to the refuge’s quarterly newsletter, and a cuddly saber-toothed tiger clone to take home as your family’s new pet. Cats at the park are safely tucked behind two layers of fence, so walkers can wander the park free of fear of the giant brooding Heathcliffs. Most of the Tiger Creek cats are victims of abuse, neglect, or displacement; thanks to the refuge's benevolent founders, they are now able to flourish, while reaping the barbecue-rich benefits of their adopted Texas homeland. A membership to Tiger Creek is both an opportunity to educate and enrich youngsters while supporting a good cause. Visit the information page for park hours and blackout dates.
Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge
You wouldn’t think that our slice of heaven in the rolling hills of East Texas would hold a little piece of Michael Jackson history, but you would be wrong. The late Michael Jackson used to keep tigers at his Neverland Ranch, but on one unfortunate day his trainer was in an accident. The resulting injuries meant that he could no longer care for the cats; the Ranch contacted Tiger Creek to see if we could take them in. Sierra now lives in peace and good health out here at Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge, and she will for the rest of her life. She is among more than 50 big cats that have been rescued from abuse, neglect or displacement, exchanging their past lives for a home that executive director Brian Werner calls a “living resort.”
The facility is owned and operated by Tiger Missing Link, a nonprofit organization that Werner chartered in 1995. After diligent research, Werner began creating a big-cat sanctuary on a 25-acre property that Werner owned. He and his family lived in a small cabin with no running water, heat, or air conditioning, clearing the land themselves and going door to door to garner support for the project. It certainly wasn't easy, but through the hard work of volunteers and some big-time press—including features on Animal Planet's 2007 Tiger Week and Good Morning America—the shelter's reputation and facilities continue to grow.
The refuge aims to raise visitors' awareness of the plight of large cats in the wild, and it plans to expand to add more natural habitats and observatories. Landscapers have even built a waterfall habitat where the tigers can exercise while trying not to puncture their plastic inner tubes. This feature may have been the favorite amenity for two of Michael Jackson's tigers that, according to a KLTV 7 story, have called the space home.
17552 FM 14
Tyler, Texas 75706Get Directions