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“Not worth it!” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Deer Forest Exotic Animal Sanctuary

Deer Forest Exotic Animal Sanctuary
6800 Indian Ln, Coloma, MI
269-468-4961
Website
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Ranked #8 of 10 Attractions in Coloma
Type: Amusement/ Theme Parks, Amusement Parks
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Attraction details
Owner description: This 32 acre sanctuary provides permanent refuge to more than 150 captive-raised exotic animals. Quiet, educational tours of the facility enable visitors to enjoy close-up observation of exotic animals from around the world. Set on beautiful Paw Paw Lake this volunteer-staffed refuge is one of the largest in the nation. Free parking and picnics are always welcomed. Season runs from Good Friday - Halloween.Off Season tours available by appointment only.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Not worth it!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2009

I would really avoid this place. My wife, 3 1/2 year old daughter and 9 month old son spent a couple hours here in July '09. I think a good way to describe this place is a giant run-down, dirty petting zoo. I didn't give this an overall rating of "very poor" because of the pony ride section. My daughter really enjoyed this part of the park and the worker (who was the only one we saw) really seemed to care about her job and was very nice to the animals.

It was really kind of an odd place...they had really old amusement rides that were rusting and looked about 50 years old, they had those blow up bounce houses that were caked with dirt (I actually saw a little girl jumping bare-foot in one too!), the majority of the animals looked really thin and unclean. They even had bobcats and they had signs on the cage saying "Stay back cats will spray." I was thankful my daughter didn't get to far ahead of me and avoided getting to close!

I paid $21 dollars for admission and a bucket of food for my daughter to feed the animals and this price also included a ticket for the pony ride. In my opnion this is not worth it, hang out on the beach instead!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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103 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Armada, Michigan
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Dirty and Understaffed”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2009

As with many Michigan attractions, we were anxious to begin visiting some of the seasonal outings that typically open around Memorial Day. Unfortunately, Deer Forest proved to be a poor choice for my wife and our four young boys, especially after driving an hour and a half from Grand Rapids. The place is extremely old and unkempt. One of the park personnel even admitted that they were not ready for opening day. Here's why we recommend this place be avoided:

1. As previous reviewers noted, the bounce houses were EXTREMLEY filthy and should not have been open to the public. This park should be fined for their unsanitary conditions.

2. The park currently has two foxes on display. They were caged in what appeared to be unsanitary conditions and did not look well cared for. Their cages also reeked of a horrible, nauseating smell that you could still smell on the other side of the park (not joking). A park employee stated that foxes have a very strong smelling urine. I beg to differ, as most foxes that we've seen in zoos do not have nearly as bad a smell.

3. This is what broke the camel's back. There is a large feeding area featuring deer and llamas. These animals acted as if they hadn't been fed in a week, I mean they were HUNGRY! The llamas practically trampled over my kids to get to the bucket of feed I was holding. It seemed common sense that a park employee should have been in the feeding area, but no employee was to be found there. One of the starving llamas bumped into a woman, who in turn tripped over my three year old. That was it, we got out of there as quick as we could. Animal feeding should be an enjoyable experience. What a disappointment when the llamas and deer are literally attacking you from all sides.

Yes, my kids did enjoy the rides and storybook lane walk-through, but overall, this park needs a major lesson in cleanliness and better care of their animals. I would not recommend visiting this place. We overheard other park guests making similar comments. In fact one woman who complained was even given a free pass and said she had intention of going back again.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Illlinois
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Run down but the kids loved it...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2008

We just returned from Coloma, Michigan and stopped at Deer Park October 11, 2008. They are now open on weekends in October. It was not very crowded at all, which was great. The place is very old and run down. There is one person who works the rides, and they do one ride at a time. The rides look like they are at LEAST 100 years old. But, my whole family did go on them and had fun. It's great for little kids as the rides are all for small children. But, if you are a parent who gets nervous when your child goes on rides to begin with (i get a little bit), then you will REALLY be nervous when they get on these. But, the guy working the rides was making jokes about it, which lightened us up a little bit. Feeding the animals was fun also -- they are all very friendly animals. The train ride was fun, but also quite run down -- but the kids didn't care! The playground was cute. The two jumpy houses they had not one kid went in as they were absolutely filthy - - even the kids wouldn't go in them. The people working there seemed pretty nice, some more than others.

So, if you put your fears away of the 100-year old rides and every thing else, it's a fun place for the kids.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
illinois
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Deer Forest Park”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2008

On a short trip to St. Joseph with our 2 year old, we decided to check out Deer Forest Park in Coloma. It took 15 or 20 minutes to drive there from St Joseph and when we pulled up we weren't sure if it was a good decision or not. It just looked a bit run down.

However, we went in and had a great time. We spent half the day there. The staff were very friendly and helpful. Our son loved it! We fed all sorts of animals and rode rides, played on the playground, ate lunch, and really had fun. The park is a little but run down, but not shabby.

We talked to one of the owners who told us the park was pretty old, but the group that owns it now just bought it 4 years ago and have been working hard to spruce it up. We met another couple with kids who went last year and came back again this year while on vacation. They said they could see improvements being made.

I certainly recommend this to anyone with kids, especially for animal lovers.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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