In this Feb. 2, 2014, file photo, an alpaca takes a bite of a carrot at the Yellow River Game Ranch in Lilburn. JONATHAN PHILLIPS / SPECIAL

Gwinnett’s Yellow River Game Ranch cited for poor care, conditions

“Very thin” sheep.

Goats with “thinning hair and bald spots.”

A “staggering and stumbling” pig, deer insufficiently sheltered from wind and cold, and bears living in an enclosure with “a build up of hair, dirt, leaves, feces and other debris.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest inspection of Gwinnett County’s Yellow River Game Ranch chronicled all of the above and more, hitting the Lilburn facility — best known for being the home of weather-predicting groundhog Gen. Beauregard Lee — with six “non-compliances.” Four were considered repeat offenses.

The inspection, a report from which is published on the USDA’s website, was completed on Jan. 14. It accuses the game ranch of not providing adequate veterinary care to at least 11 different animals. That accounts for nearly 10 percent of the ranch’s total animal population.

The inspection report also references several facilities alleged to be in poor repair, from “protruding wires” that could present an injury risk to gaps that could allow outside animals in. The bear enclosure, the report said, “has visibly not been cleaned and sanitized in an appropriate length of time to maintain a clean and safe environment.”

Attempt to contact the game ranch, were unsuccessful Wednesday.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, meanwhile, released a statement calling for the ranch to “allow these animals to be retired to the safety of a reputable sanctuary immediately.”

“Yellow River Game Ranch’s latest citations for neglect and failure to provide basic veterinary care—and the description of such ramshackle enclosures—prove that it either can’t or won’t provide animals with even the most minimal care,” PETA Foundation Deputy Director Brittany Peet said in the emailed statement.

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