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Deer Forest will close

The Deer Forest Exotic Animal Sanctuary in southwest Michigan is closing at the end of this season. The announcement was made Tuesday morning, a day after an arrest warrant was issued in Illinois for Jon Stolarz, one of the park’s operators for failing to appear in court in that state in an animal cruelty case.  He and his wife blame bad press, previous ownership and quote, “a small group of non-believers” for their struggles. 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 petting zoo in Coloma. 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. They add in their statement that it would take “a miracle” to reopen after this year.  (MRN)