Friday, October 06, 2006

Sad End

Some residents near the Catskill Game Farm are concerned that animals there will be shipped off to exotic game hunting camps when the farm closes on Monday. (G. Paul Burnett/The New York Times)

When I was a kid, a trip to the Catskill Game Farm was a thrill. Walking around the grounds surrounded by fairly tame wild animals (I saw no contradiction there) with a cup of feed in my hand, trying to get them to eat (or fighting off the hungry ones) are vivid memories of childhood.

New York Times: Farm’s Fate Is Certain, but the Future of Its Animals Is Not

CATSKILL, N.Y. Oct. 2 — For three-quarters of a century, exotic animals have sidled up to fences at the Catskill Game Farm here to nibble food from the hands of visitors.

Adults and children alike can slip crackers through a fence onto the waiting blue tongue of a 15-foot-tall giraffe or bottle-feed a baby goat at the park’s nursery. But on Monday, the game farm will shut its gates for the last time, the latest casualty of a struggling economy in upstate New York. And though the fate of the farm is all but certain, the future for many of the animals is not.

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