Tiger Creek has seen a lot of changes over the years as we continue to grow and build top rated enclosures for the big cats. We have opened up our new area in the back part of the refuge where the new habitats for the big cats are nearing completion. Visitors can view the cats in a natural setting with trees, grass, room to run, tubs to cool off in and platforms to climb on.
Our old parking lot has turned into the small cat area. We have new, taller enclosures there for the cats. Cougars, leopards and other smaller felines like to climb and lounge up high looking down on everyone, and they are able to do just that in these new habitats.
Each new habitat has indoor enclosures so we can lock the cats up inside when needed. This allows the staff to feed the cats inside or keep them isolated for medical procedures. Furnished in a natural stone, these houses also remain cool in the summer time and warm in the winter. We have added automatic watering systems so they have access to fresh water 24 hours a day and each house has a lounging platform inside.
New black coated chain link helps the visitor see the cats more clearly without the harshness of regular fencing.
No longer do we have the cramped little red cabin filled with chest freezers as our feed room. We now have a walk-in cooler, freezer and food prep area that we call Support Services. This has been an exciting addition for the staff, as it makes preparing and storing food for the cats a lot easier. Added to the coolers is an extension or building for the maintenance department.
A smaller cedar building provides the staff with the much needed office space and serves as a temporary visitor center. It includes a small gift-shop and break room. This building will become the Animal Care Center once the new educational center is built.
Two ponds allow for appropriate drainage of the property, a water source in case of a fire and a place for cubs to swim and play when we have them.
More land has been acquired that now gives us frontage road property on FM 14 and FM 16. This will help in our future expansion.
Our passion for tiger conservation has not ended. We continue to network with conservationists, biologists, zoos etc. to help protect and save this endangered species. Since our early days of the first genetic testing of tigers, we continue to push for more genetic testing and work with places like Texas A&M in providing blood samples to further develop the genetic database.