What?  I thought Deer Forest was gone decades ago!   I guess not.   I was doing the news this morning and came across a story about Deer Forest.  

When I was a kid, we went there every summer!   I loved it.  We would get so excited when my mom and her friend Bonnie would load all of us kids into the station wagon and head down I-94 to Coloma.   We couldn't wait to get there, and buy ice cream cones full of alfalfa pellets to feed to the world's most hungry deer.   They had llamas, and the midget ponies.  They had the trick mirrors that made you look super tall or super fat.  And they had......welll, that's about it.  But it was fun for us kids and a cheap outing for our mom's.

Fast Forward 50 years....and the place is still there!  Barely.

The owners of the Deer Forest Exotic Animal Sanctuary announced last week that they would be closing the park after the season.  An on-line effort to raise money to buy the large animals and chickens  is near its goal.  GoFundMe.com was asking for $2000 by Friday to send the animals to Blessings Animal Farm in Coloma.  The effort has raised about $2200, so they've set a new goal of $4000 to include veterinary care for some of the animals.

One of the park’s operators,  Jon Stolarz, faces charges related to an animal cruelty case in Illinois, and  Deer Forest is also the target of a pair of investigations by the U.S. Department of Agriculture over alleged mistreatment of animals at the Coloma petting zoo.  Stolarz and his wife say they are selling the animals but plan to stay open during the week through Labor Day and on  weekends until Halloween.

More From WBCKFM