Space Farms Zoo and Museum

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Space Farms Zoo and Museum
Date opened1927
LocationSussex County, New Jersey, United States
Coordinates41°12′35″N 74°41′35″W / 41.2096°N 74.6930°W / 41.2096; -74.6930Coordinates: 41°12′35″N 74°41′35″W / 41.2096°N 74.6930°W / 41.2096; -74.6930

Space Farms Zoo and Museum is a combination of a natural environment for animals and a historical museum located at 218 Route 519, in the Beemerville section of Wantage Township in Sussex County, New Jersey, in the United States.

Founded in 1927, the zoo is home to a wide selection of mammals and reptiles of the North America region and all over the world, including some endangered species.[1] At one time, Space Farms was host to the largest bear in captivity in the world,[2] a Kodiak bear named Goliath. The 2,000-pound (900 kg) Goliath still stands tall in front of a diverse taxidermy exhibit in the main hall of the museum. He was preserved in an imposing upright position after his death in 1991.[3] His abnormally large skull is upstairs, where one can compare it to skulls of other animals.

The Space Farms museum houses an extensive variety of antique vehicles and items used during the early history of the United States, such as horse-drawn carriages and early motorcycles.[4] The vehicles are largely unrestored, being in much the same remarkable condition as when they were acquired. There are also colonial period tools and weapons on display.

Children can feed young animals by hand and there is a large food and drink area for picnics. There is also a gift shop and playground area where people can explore nature without being in the wild. The atmosphere is very relaxed, with family members giving talks and performing (animal) infant feedings.

Space Farms was named one of the Top 10 Worst Zoos by Parade Magazine in 1984. An article[5] from the Associated Press about the list stated, "The 10 worst, 'animal slums' with bare, cell-like environments that can cause physical and emotional damage to animals, according to the magazine, were [...] Space Games Farm Zoo, Sussex, N.J." More recently, enclosures have been designed for enhanced enrichment and privacy. In 2011, Space Farms built outside enclosures for two African Serval, that included locust tree branches and a privacy den, and for two South American Coati, with a branched tree and several boulders.[6] In 2014, a new Kodiak Bear exhibit was scheduled to open.[7]


  1. ^ Space Farms Zoo and Museum (zoo section)
  2. ^ Which is the largest bear on earth?
  3. ^ Strunsky, Steve. "ON THE MAP; A Zoo (and Much More) That Would Overwhelm Noah's Ark", The New York Times, October 19, 1997. Accessed October 11, 2007. "One of the permanent fixtures at Space Farms is Goliath, a 12-foot-tall, 2,000-pound Kodiak bear, who arrived as a cub 30 years ago and remains an attraction, having been stuffed after his death in 1991."
  4. ^ Krebs, Michelle. "Driving Back in Time: Auto Exhibits in the Mid-Atlantic States", The New York Times, August 20, 2006. Accessed October 11, 2007.
  5. ^ "New York has the best, worst zoos in nation". Associated Press.
  6. ^ "New Season Begins at Space Farms". The Advertiser News. Straus News Group. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  7. ^ "Space Farms Set to Open". Vernon NJ Local News. Straus News Group. Retrieved 23 November 2014.

Further reading[edit]

  • Day, Lori S. The Zookeeper's Daughter PublishAmerica, 2004.
  • Day, Lori S. Zoo Momma Daylite Sales, 2016
  • Space, Fred. Ralph Space the Legend, The Story of Space Farms and Tales of Beemerville Privately Published, 2007.

External links[edit]