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Catskill Game Farm
Entrance sign in 2006
Date opened 1933
Date closed 2006
Location Catskill, New York, U.S.A.
Land area 914 acres (370 ha)
Number of animals 2,000 (2006)
Number of species 150 (2006)

Catskill Game Farm was a zoo in Catskill, New York, U.S.A. It closed permanently on Columbus Day 2006 after 73 years of operation. The Game Farm is still closed today. But as of 2012, it was sold to new owners that have plans on reopening the place as a family oriented establishment once again but with the addition of a B&B, campground, and RV resort with animals.

The sign at the turn into Catskill Game Farm in 2006


The Catskill Game Farm was opened in 1933 by Roland Lindemann, and was still owned by the Lindemann family, as Catskill Game Farm Inc. at the time of its closing. At first, it held only deer, donkeys, and sheep. In 1958, the United States Department of Agriculture recognized Catskill as a zoo, and it became the first privately owned venture to achieve such status. The collection was now allowed to grow more exotic and at the time of its closing played host to roughly 2,000 animals from over 150 species, imported from around the world.

The zoo spanned more than 914 acres (370 ha), most of which was used to breed animals for other zoos worldwide. Only about 136 acres (55 ha) was available for public viewing, and then only in the summer and autumn.


On August 2, 2006, the Catskill Game Farm announced that it would be closing on Columbus Day of that year, ending its 73-year run. Its owners attributed the closing to mounting financial difficulties, dropping attendance, and legal regulations leading to the shutdown of its Splashdown attraction, though Splashdown itself never violated regulations.


The auction was organized and conducted by Norton Auctioneers of Michigan, Inc., a worldwide auction group based in Coldwater, Michigan. Norton's is known for auctions of tourist attractions of every shape and kind – amusement parks, zoos, carnivals, family entertainment centers, museums, carousels, and unique collections.

The two-day Catskill auction attracted over 1,000 potential bidders from across the nation, Canada, and Mexico. Selling the first day were the amusement park rides, restaurants, gift shops, and related items. The second day had over 900 animals, vehicles, and farm and construction equipment offered.

A 1951 Herschell Merry-go-Round with aluminum horses sold for $39,500; a Venture Lady Bug ride sold at $8,800; Kiddy Helicopter for $7,000; Kiddy Car Ride at $8,300; and a Venture Himalaya fetched $7,700. Over $12,000 worth of picnic tables and benches alone were sold.

Animal highlights included two rhinos that went for $6,000 and $9,250 to an organization that will place them for the International Rhino Association. A bull elk sold at $1,325, and five female elks sold for $3,600. A small group of Dall sheep sold for $2,500; 10 alligators for $1,350; a white elk for $1,950; pygmy donkeys ranged from $825 to $1,650 each; and a female warthog astonished animal dealers as she sold for $9,900. Five fallow buck deer fetched $3,600, and two groups of Barbados sheep sold for $2,200 each. A pair of bison sold for $1,925; a lot of three Wisent for $6,600; a pair of African porcupines for $1,220; an African spurred tortoise went at $1,100; and a lot of five guanacos sold for $7,150. Vervet monkeys sold between $1,375 and $2,200 each. Nilgais averaged $1,350 a piece, and five reindeer fetched $4,725. A lot of three pot bellied pigs sold for $990; a male shetland pony for $1,980; llamas ranged from $400–$1,000 each; a male red deer sold for $2,200; ostriches sold at $900–$1,200 each; and a pair of East African crowned cranes went for $2,300. Also selling were birds, reptiles, and snakes.

In addition to the above list, a southern white rhino named "Boom Boom" was bought for the Out Of Africa Wild Animal Park in Camp Verde, Arizona by Marc Ecko, founder of the rhino-branded Ecko apparel line. "Boom Boom" died on Thursday, March 22, 2012, at the age of 41 due to cancer.

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catskill_Game_Farm — Please support Wikipedia.
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31 news items

The Daily Freeman
Sat, 06 Jun 2015 11:33:45 -0700

A sign on the grounds of the former Catskill Game Farm tells of the intentions of Ben and Cathy Ballone to re-imagine the once-popular attraction. Ariel Zangla — Daily Freeman. By Paula Ann Mitchell, Daily Freeman. Posted: 06/06/15, 2:39 PM EDT ...
Oneida Dispatch
Fri, 26 Jun 2015 02:45:00 -0700

Ben and Cathy Ballone are the new owners of the former Catskill Game Farm, appropriately renamed The Old Game Farm. With them are their dogs Hudson, left, and Grady, seeking shade in the cave. Tania Barricklo – Daily Freeman. CATSKILL >> A mellow ...

One Green Planet

One Green Planet
Tue, 30 Jun 2015 04:51:05 -0700

Asha the lioness has always been known for having such a zest for life. Asha was rescued when New York's Catskill Game Farm closed and began auctioning off their animals to the highest bidder. She spent the next chapter of her life being the lion she ...
Albany Times Union
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 22:23:47 -0700

Understandably, the way times have changed, they won't be able to have some of the more exotic animals the Catskill Game Farm once hosted, like a white rhinoceros or dromedary. Roland and Kathryn Lindemann opened the farm, which sprawled across ...
Thu, 03 Aug 2006 14:45:55 -0700

After more than 70 years in business, the Catskill Game Farm is closing for business on Oct. 9. Kathie Schulz, who bought the family business in 1989, cited declining traffic as a reason for ending the petting zoo operation in Catskill, which occupies ...
New York Times
Thu, 05 Oct 2006 17:00:00 -0700

Allegations that the Catskill Game Farm has sold animals to hunting ranches have dogged the operation for several years now. At least two major zoos have refused to send animals to the game farm for that reason. Now the possibility that some of the ...

Watershed post

Watershed post
Mon, 04 May 2015 14:15:03 -0700

Above: At Handsome Hollow in Long Eddy, couples can say their vows in a fern-strewn clearing in the woods on the 93-acre property. Photo by JBM Photography. Catskills weddings – especially those with an outdoorsy twist – are on the rise. Getting ...
Utica Observer Dispatch
Sun, 02 Aug 2015 00:18:45 -0700

... street lights came on; $2 a week allowance got me all the Nehis, popsicles and root beer barrels my heart desired; “vacations” were a one-day trip to the Catskill Game Farm and periodic visits to an uncle's camp on environmentally challenged Keyser ...

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