What happens to animals in deer park during July 4 fireworks?

One of the two buffaloes walks in its enclosure at the Lynn Deer Park on the Illinois Veterans Home campus. Though buffaloes were removed from their enclosure for the 2011 Fourth of July fireworks display on the campus, they have remained on site for other displays, and no problems have been reported. | H-W Photo/Matt Hopf
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Aug. 15, 2017 3:55 pm

What happens to the animals in the Deer Park at the Illinois Veterans Home during the Fourth of July fireworks? Are they moved out?

None of the animals is removed from the two enclosures at the Lynn Deer Park during the fireworks displays.

Rick Gengenbacher, marketing director at the Illinois Veterans Home, said there have been no reports of problems with the deer or buffaloes during the fireworks display.

"We moved the buffalo the very first year we had fireworks in 2011 as we celebrated our 125th anniversary, because we weren't sure about the buffalo reaction," Gengenbacher said. "Since that time, they have not been moved, and we are not aware of any issues."

The Illinois Veterans Home and the Park District have an intergovernmental agreement for the care of the park. The park dates to 1858. It was originally built by Edward A. Dudley, who sold the grounds for the home.

The Illinois Veterans Home, which opened in 1886 as the Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Home, maintained the park through the support of many organizations, businesses and individuals. This included the construction of a second enclosure in 1973.

This spring, Quincy Park District employees planted a pasture mix for deer in the enclosure.

The animals in the park are owned by a private party and not by the home. Veterans Home staff feed the animals.

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