Yellow River Game Ranch closes in Gwinnett after more than 35 years

Yellow River Game ranch, home to wildlife including weather-predicting groundhog Gen. Beauregard Lee, has closed after more than 35 years, employees told Channel 2 Action News.

Calls to the ranch and owner Cody Reeves went unanswered Wednesday morning as a “Closed” sign hung on the ranch’s office door. Some employees still showed up Wednesday to feed the nearly 600 animals that the ranch has in its care.

READGwinnett's weather-predicting groundhog will be relocated...but where?

The Lilburn attraction had been cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture  for two violations in its most recent inspection, which occurred in July 2017. A red fox had a "thick yellowish discharge" in one of its eyes, and a PVC pipe used to feed bears had become scratched and discolored, with "particulate matter building up in it," according to the report.

January 2016 inspection drew the attention of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which called for the ranch to release its animals to a "reputable sanctuary." PETA told Channel 2 that Wednesday's closure was an "early Christmas present."

The 2016 report noted “very thin” sheep, goats with bald spots and thinning hair, a bear enclosure filled with feces and debris and other violations.

Read more about the fate of the animals,  including Gen. Beauregard Lee at

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