NEAR WILLIAMS, Ariz. (KSAZ) - Arizona is known for it's wildlife. Some of it is in the wild, and others are in world class zoos. There is, however, one small farm in Northern Arizona that specializes in wildlife people can safely interact with.
Especially if one wants to pet a deer.
"The deer farm opened in 1969," said Pat George, owner of Grand Canyon Deer Farm. "Built on Historic Route 66, which is still right here in front of the farm."
Grand Canyon Deer Farm is located just a few miles east of Williams.
"When we came in 1987, we added quite a few things. From coatimundis to wallabys to marmosets, talking birds," said George. "We have a zonkey out here now, a camel that will give you kisses. We have a very interactive place now."
George and her husband own the farm, which is also a petting zoo. Visitors are greeted by a cockatoo and a parrot. George said the Cockatoo has been there since 1987.
"People absolutely love him," said George. "They come back just to see him."
It is the heard of fallow deer, however, that surround people young and old, as they enter a wide open area. Whether you have zoo-provided snacks to give them or a loose shirt tail, one will get plenty of attention.
Grand Canyon Deer Farm is a zoo that keeps its owners busy.
Especially when the wallaby's are giving birth.
"One that I bottle raised last year has a Joey in pouch who accidentally fell out of the pouch, and the mother is standing there not knowing what to do," said George. "I bottled-raised that momma last year. I was able to scoop up the little three-ounce baby ,and slide down her tummy to find her pouch, and drop the baby back in the pouch. It's still in there. She lets me feel the pouch, and it's kicking and moving and everything is good."
The farm's mule deer population of three, meanwhile, jumped by six more recently.
"People can see them through the fence, and if they come at the right time, they can bottle-feed them," said George.
The baby mule deer were rescued from the recent Goodwin fire near Mayer. They were rescued by firefighters after the blaze chased off their mothers.
"The only reason the firefighters picked up these babies is because they knew with the fire, the mothers had to flee or perish," said George.
Due to its name, the deer farm gets calls all the time from people who think they have rescued a baby deer.
"Babies laying by a tree in the woods, or even by a road in the woods, are not abandoned," said George. "Their mommas are close by, so please don't kidnap the wild babies."