Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary, Tyler

We had spent about 15 minutes quietly watching 2 tigers sleep in the morning sun, when one stretched lazily, then out of no-where pounced on top of his room mate, jarring him from his nap and to our delight they clumsily pawed and growled at each other in play!  At Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary, tigers and other big cats have found a home and care when they needed one, and the facility offers tours to educate the public and raise money for their care.

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Know Before You Go

While the park is quite shaded by the big East Texas trees, don’t forget sunscreen.

There are tables near the parking lot for a picnic lunch!

It’s not a zoo, you won’t find a playground or child-friendly activities, and it may be better suited for older children, which is why children 3 and under are admitted for free!

Save a little money and check Groupon for frequently run deals, but learn from my mistakes and purchase before you arrive.  The wifi is iffy, and I had to walk around th keep a signal, and accidentally ended up purchasing my deal twice.  Lucky thing my kids REALLY love it at Tiger Creek!

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When we arrived, I gave my children the choice of a guided tour, or a self-guided one.  My children unanimously agreed on a self-guided tour, because they wanted to go at their own pace and have PLENTY of time to look at the cats.  I was hoping for the guided tour, which would have accommodated only us and we were assured the guide would let us go at our own pace.  The solution was I purchased a guide book for about $11 that told the story of each of the animals.  My kids loved taking turns reading about them as we walked around the park!

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There are about 5 of these cute photo-ops around the park.

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I love that the cats all have nice big enclosures, with plenty of shade, water to play in and places to climb.  One of the tigers was even in her pool, peaking out at us!

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It’s amazing the damage tiger teeth can do to a large, heavy-duty plastic barrel.

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It’s almost scary what a tiger can do to a galvanized-steel bucket!  It makes you wonder why ANYONE would want to keep one as a pet, and VERY THANKFUL that Tiger Creek and other refuges are able to give them good homes when the owners can’t anymore!

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I’ve read from numerous news outlets that there are as many or more tigers living in Texas than there are in the wild in Asia, mostly in private residences.  As you tour the park, you not only see some famous tigers, such as one that belonged to Michael Jackson, but you also hear some sad stories of neglect and abuse.

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Bad Photographers Beware, each animal is thankfully behind a 2 protective chain-link fences, and there is a distance between the 2 fences, which makes seeing these animals VERY easy, but photographing them a little harder, especially with the camera on your phone.  If you have a digital camera, try putting it on manual setting, and focusing in on the animal, to reduce the fencing.

Wait, did I, the world’s self-proclaimed WORST photographer, just give photography advice?  Click HERE for advice on photographing at zoos from some real experts at improvephotography.com

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Gift Shop

I wouldn’t hesitate at all to give my children a gift shop vaccine, were one to ever come available, but keep in mind that every dollar spent at Tiger Creek goes to help the animals.  Which is why my in-laws are all getting Tiger Creek t-shirts for Christmas this year!

Things To Do in Tyler


Tyler Discovery Place Museum is a fun outing with kids of all ages!  Click HERE to visit their website.


We had a great time at Jellystone Park Whispering Pines!  Click HERE to visit their website.

Tiger Creek Animal Sanctuary  

17552 Farm To Market 14, Tyler

Click HERE to visit their website.    

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