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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" now resides at the Out Of Africa Wild Animal Park in Camp Verde, Arizona. He was bought for Out of Africa 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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33 news items

Bronx Times

Bronx Times
Wed, 22 Apr 2015 02:33:45 -0700

The late James Cerasoli feeds deer at the Catskill Game Farm in upstate New York around 1990. His son, Dave, said the photo exemplifies his father's love of animals. Similar stories. Bronx Times Reporter: WLCA's founder and longtime president Anthony ...
Albany Times Union
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 22:23:47 -0700

Catskill. Heartache greeted the decision, almost eight years ago, to close the Catskill Game Farm, a one-of-a-kind landmark for travelers and local animal lovers since the 1930s. Husband and wife Cathy and Ben Ballone want to bring back at least some ...
Watershed post
Wed, 28 Mar 2012 08:19:10 -0700

Above: A video of Boom Boom the rhino getting some TLC from a keeper at the Out Of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde, Arizona. Filmed in 2010. One of the now-defunct Catskill Game Farm's most famous animals, Boom Boom the white rhino, died of cancer ...
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 ...
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 ...
Albany Times Union (blog)
Fri, 01 Feb 2013 03:22:36 -0800

Would love to share a post of old photos with animals (people in photos are fine too) taken at the Catskill Game Farm. Prefer 1985 and earlier. Please include the year, and any names/information that you would like to include. Thanks so much! Email ...

One Green Planet

One Green Planet
Thu, 13 Nov 2014 07:33:25 -0800

When the Catskill Game Farm closed its doors for business in 2006, it rang a number of alarm bells for animal welfare organizations across the U.S. The Game Farm had been in operation since 1933 and was the first privately owned zoo in the country to ...

CNY News

CNY News
Thu, 27 Nov 2014 03:48:45 -0800

During the 1950s and early 1960s Bresee's Departemnt Store in Oneonta brought many of the wild animals from Catskill Game Farm to their store to be featured in the “Bresee's Circus.” The game farm was closed in the winter and this provided the animals ...

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