• Water woes: Severe drought impacting Georgia exotic animal farm, officials say

    By: Tom Regan

    Updated:

    BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. - Severe drought in Georgia has dried up pastures and creeks at an exotic animal farm in Bartow County.

    Channel 2's Tom Regan is in Bartow County at Glenn Pettit Creek Farms, which is home to exotic animals from around the world including camels, giraffes, llamas and more.

    Owner Scott Allen's camels would normally be chewing on his sprawling pastures, but the drought and hot weather has scorched the grass and it's not growing high enough to be edible. 

    Georgia is currently in the worst drought since 2016.

    "We haven't mowed in four of five weeks because there's no grass to grow," Allen said. "It's 88 acres of no growth."

    That means Allen has had to dig into his winter stockpile of hay to feed his exotic animals. He said his food costs in the past couple of months has doubled. 

    "We had 300 rolls up there when the summer started. Now, we're whittling down pretty hard," Allen said. "We will end up having to buy hay or have alfalfa hay brought in." 


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    The extreme drought has also dried up the creeks and springs that the animals usually drink from. Instead, he's using more city water. 

    The ponds are also disappearing. 

    "(We have) 23 to 24 inches of water right here normally, any given time of year, it's dried up," Allen said. "The last substantial rain we had was the end of June."

    Allen told Regan it reminds him of the terrible drought that hit back in 2007. He says his buddy, George the Giraffe, isn't too bothered by the lack of rain, but most of his animals on Pettit Creek Farm would probably appreciate a little fall weather. 

    "The heat's hard on anything, but the animals are handling it well," Allen said. "The reindeer have a big, 14-foot fan they like staying under."

    Still, Allen said the rain would be nice. 

    "I'd love to see a two-day rain. That would tickle me to death," Allen said. 

    The drought comes at an especially tough time: Allen is also getting ready for his fall festival and the crowds of kids and families who will be pouring in.

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