Did you know a giraffe, a cougar and a bunch of lemurs live on Long Island? Since 1970, the Long Island Game Farm in Manorville has been home to hundreds of animals, located right off the Long Island Expressway.
Sitting on 26 acres, the Wildlife Park entertains families, camps and schools throughout the year, educating Long Islanders about exotic and farm animals.
Maybe you've fed one of the baby goats with a bottle or you got up close and personal with the giraffe or camels, but how much do you really know about the Long Island Game Farm? Take a look at some of the fun facts we found.
The Long Island Game Farm opened in 1970.
The Long Island Game farm has been owned and operated by the same family for 46 years. Stan and Diane Novak opened the farm in 1970. Stan loved the outdoors and animals. As a family they used to visit the Catskills Game Farm, so it inspired them to open a game farm on LI.
The farm dates back to 1900.
The house on the Long Island Game Farm was built in 1900 and the barn is a bit older than that. The property was once a sheep farm. On opening day, the adult admission price was $2 and children were $1.50. There were a handful of animals living at the farm when it first opened.
The giraffe is the star.
Clifford the giraffe is the most visited animal. Little ones also love the nursery, where they can run around and feed the baby animals.
Exotic lemurs reside at the farm.
There are two different types of lemurs, including this black and white ruffed lemur, living at the Long Island Game Farm. They love to eat carrot ice pops during the summer months.
The Game Farm animals used to visit schools and libraries.
In the early years, the "Zoomobile" used to take some of the animals to schools and libraries. The educational program featured about a dozen animals. The farm may be picking up this program again in the near future.
Jimmy Fallon visits the farm.
Jimmy Fallon, host of "The Tonight Show," visits the Long Island Game Farm with his family. He loves the animals but he also loves the hot dogs sold at the snack stand.
Pictured: Jimmy Fallon at the Long Island Game Farm along with News 12's Doug Geed.
Some animals head down South in the winter.
During the winter months, most animals stay on the farm in different quarters than where they reside in the warmer weather. Some head down South. Clifford the giraffe and the lemurs go down to Florida via a specially-designed truck that transports giraffes.
Pictured: Long Island Game Farm owners Diane and Melinda Novak.
Kids used to play in the hay.
Remember the Play in the Hay room in the Old McDonald's Farmyard? In the 1970s, kids could go in and throw around the hay.
Each year the farm features different animal shows.
In the 1970s, the Long Island Game Farm featured a sea lion show. They also featured a trained animal show with a pig that could take a shower, goats that danced and chickens that played games. Each year, the farm switches up the shows, such as David Rosaire and his Perky Pekes (pictured).
The Long Island Game Farm hit the big time.
In the 1970s and 1980s, you could see a billboard for the farm on the Long Island Expressway just east of New York City. The fun ad featured animal illustrations and more.
Baby animals are a springtime highlight.
Every spring, the Long Island Game Farm welcomes baby goats, sheep, bunnies and chicks that you can meet, feed and pet.
There are rides at the Long Island Game Farm.
Besides the animals, the game farm features a handful of rides including the carousel, which is the oldest ride, spinning tea cups, a mini train ride and a new jungle bounce house. Kids' favorite ride? The carousel sees the most visitors each day.
The farm has adopted animals.
The farm's cougar, Hudson, came to Manorville after the Catskill Game Farm closed its doors. Cougars are typically solitary and nocturnal. Their paws have four retractable claws and one dewclaw each. They also have the largest hind legs in the cat family, allowing them to leap as high as 18 feet in one bound and as far as 40-45 feet horizontally. Cougars can run at a speed of 40-50 miles per hour.
The farm celebrates birthdays.
Every July Fourth weekend, the farm celebrates Clifford's birthday with a special healthy cake. The giraffe's cake is a mix of carrots, bananas and grains with a bit of molasses so it's sweet.
The llamas love to eat banana skins.
There are many llamas and alpacas (pictured) at the game farm. They love eating banana skins as well as grass and ferns. When llamas are annoyed, they make a clucking noise as they spit up stomach acid -- a habit common to all llamas.
Hundreds of animals live on the game farm.
About 200 animals call the Long Island Game Farm their home. Sometimes it's hard to keep track because the turkeys fly in and out as they please.
Pictured: Sandy, one of the camels at the Long Island Game Farm.