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Exploring an Abandoned Zoo: The Old Catskill Game Farm

Some buildings and establishments were abandoned throughout history because of various reasons such as lack of funding or facing legal troubles. Some of these abandoned buildings were demolished or left to slowly rot away and are commonly visited by urban explorers who want to discover hidden gems within the building.

However, if you want to explore a vast abandoned place, you can try visiting The Old Catskill Game Farm. It is an abandoned zoo that was considered to be one of America’s greatest zoos at that time. Unfortunately, it ran into trouble that ultimately forced the zoo to shut down and prevent visitors from ever visiting again.

The Early Days of the Zoo

The Catskill Game Farm was first established and opened in 1933 by a man named Rolan Lindemann, and it began as a private zoo and was one of the first-ever private zoos in all of America. The zoo was packed with animals ranging from rhinos, elephants, lions, kangaroos, and giraffes. There were even pens that anyone could use to get close and feed the animals.

The Catskill Game Farm was the best destination whenever you wanted to see real, wild animals up close without having to travel to different parts of the world. Many families even made it a tradition to visit the farm several times a year because the zoo had many to offer to its guests. If you loved animals, The Catskill Game Farm was the first place everyone had in mind. In 2002, a famous giraffe in the zoo named “April the Giraffe” garnered attention to the Youtube community.

The Start of the Zoo’s Decline

Four years after April the giraffe’s sudden rise to popularity, the zoo started to experience trouble financially, and even the number of visitors significantly dropped than before. Ever since Rolan Lindemann sold it to his daughter, Kathie Schulz, in 1989, things were not looking so good at the zoo.

They tried desperately to look for ways to increase profits again, but sadly, the zoo could not recoup, which led to its doors closing in 2006. Right after announcing that The Catskill Game Farm was closing, it began to slowly turn into what people would usually think of an abandoned place.

An overhead photo of The Catskill Game Farm when it was abandoned after 2006.

Brought Back to Life

Fortunately, in 2012, it was purchased, and the new owners renovated some parts of the zoo, specifically the Old Giraffe barn, where they made it into a unique art Boutique Hotel. During its renovation, they made sure to preserve the essence of The Catskill Game Farm zoo. They even opened a “Long Neck Inn” in 2019 to stay and walk around. Guests and visitors also have the choice to stay in a private campsite to experience the zoo’s vibe even more.

It was recently bought in 2020 by private investors, so it is only a matter of time before people can see an entirely new zoo.