Game Farm bans feeding white bread to animals

Take a walk on the wild side and visit the Olympic Game Farm.

Open seven days a week, the family-operated farm offers a driving tour, petting zoo, historical studio barn, walking tour with a freshwater aquarium, gift shop and snack bar. Guests can expect to come face to face with llamas, peacocks, bears, elk, buffalo, zebras, prairie dogs, timber wolves, tigers, lions, cougars, bobcats, coyotes, yaks, buffalo, a rhinoceros and other exotic animals.

Children and adults can hand-feed the llamas and buffalo from the car window.

The bears are notorious for doing "tricks for treats."

A new cougar was introduced this year, as well as a bear cub, wolf pup and baby yak. A young ox was abandoned by its mother and is being housed in the petting zoo until it's old enough to return to the range with the larger animals.

About two years ago, farm visitors were banned from feeding the animals by the United States Department of Agriculture. After a nearly yearlong negotiation process, Olympic Game Farm was granted permission to allow guests to feed the animals fresh-baked wheat bread.

Wheat bread is more nutritious and has fewer calories than other types of bread.

White bread and donuts are prohibited.

Guests are asked to either bring wheat bread with them or purchase it at the farm. A bread stand is available on the driving tour for people to purchase more bread.

"People often find that they've fed all of their bread to the peacocks and bears and don't have any left for the buffalo and other animals toward the end of the tour," said Robert Beebe, Olympic Game Farm president and general manager.

"This way, they don't have to drive all the way back to the entrance and start the tour over."

Upgrading the

predator compound

The game farm is hosting a fundraiser from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, June 20.

Proceeds will go toward upgrading and reconstructing the predator enclosures to be larger and more "homey," Beebe said.

Admission will be reduced to $4 for adults and $3 for children 6-14 years old and senior citizens during the special event. The Dave Secord Band will perform live and "Grizzly Adams" star Dan Haggerty will sign autographs.

Enter the raffle for a

chance to win a vacation in a family suite - up to six people - plus four passes to the Great Wolf Lodge northwoods-themed resort with an indoor water park in Grand Mound or two Seattle Mariners tickets.

The raffle ends Wednesday, June 24. The two winners will be called at 2 p.m. during a

live KMPS 94.1 FM broadcast.

About the farm

Olympic Game Farm has been in the business of entertaining the public for more than 40 years. Many of its animals have been stars of television and movies.

For more than 28 years, the game farm worked exclusively with Walt Disney Studios and many others on features for theater and television including "The Grizzly Adams Series," "The Incredible Journey," "Charlie The Lonesome Cougar" and "Beachcombers."

After the death of Walt Disney in 1965, the Disney Studios began to move away from the nature film genre. As periods of employment became further and further apart as a photographer, trainer and director, Lloyd Beebe decided to use the nest egg he'd set aside to provide new, secure housing for the animals.

In 1972, with the approval of the Disney Studios for using the Disney name, Olympic Game Farm Inc. was opened to the public. Families have been enjoying the animal

park ever since.

Today, the farm is home to more than 20 different exotic and nonexotic species and hundreds of animals on site for viewing, petting and photographing.

Reach Ashley Miller at

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