Yellow River Game Ranch closing????

Jacob Woodruff, Staff Writer

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When Col. Art Rilling started the Yellow River Game Ranch in the early 1960s, it was a bit of a head-scratcher for officials. The ranch offered a home to injured and neglected animals, including some wild animals that couldn’t be released back into the wild. It also allowed the public come and interact with the animals in a petting zoo format. The petting zoo included everything from goats, sheep and turkeys to deer and buffalo. So why then was the ranch closed down, a place that saves and takes care of animals. The wildlife’s longtime digs, the Yellow River Game Ranch in Lilburn, Georgia abruptly closed its gates on December 21, 2017 without announcement or explanation. “The reason for their closing would be a question for them,” said DNR spokesman Mark McKinnon. “We are not shutting them down – no reason to.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture report from nearly two years ago cited several concerns, including animals that appeared unable to stand on their own, other animals that appeared to be so thin that the outline of hip and spine bones could be seen, and some animals that had trouble walking. The USDA required the animals to be checked by a veterinarian. If groups like PETA are cheering for the ranch’s closing, Rilling said, “my initial response to them wouldn’t be printable.” The question that is on everyone’s minds is where will the animals be relocated? The animals will be relocated to other zoos and other animal sanctuaries.

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