Camels and baby goats among new animals at Long Island Game Farm


Feed the camels, pet the baby goats, and if you can get to the Long Island Game Farm early and have a strong stomach, you can watch the wildlife park’s new capybaras chow down on their own poop.

The addition of the capybaras adds a new dimension to the Manorville attraction’s tapestry of wildlife. The reason the giant rodent eats its feces in the morning is because that’s when it’s richest in beneficial bacteria that helps their stomach break down fiber from the grass the animal ate the day before.

The two 1-year-old female capybaras are among several new animal species at the Game Farm this summer. In addition to two baby goats born at the park and the arrival of two male camels, aged 3 and 5, the Game Farm has taken in some Madagascar hissing cockroaches.

Limited capybara encounters are available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Game Farm announced. Guests are permitted to feed the rodents — most likely grass and grains and certainly not No. 2 — under the guidance of Game Farm educators. The capybaras have access to an outdoor water tank and pool, as well as an indoor tank for swimming and bathing.

Guests are also able to meet and feed the camels and select afternoons. The three Madagascar hissing cockroaches will soon serve as an educational feature, in an effort to erase some of the stigmas associated with the insect, according to the Game Farm.

In addition to the two baby goats born in May, the Game Farm anticipates 13 more goats will be born at the park in the coming weeks.

“I meet a lot of parents who say their kids are scared of certain animals,” Game Farm president Melinda Novak said. “My approach is not to just tell kids don’t be scared. That doesn’t help. Instead, I say things like, ‘That’s smart to be a little scared, you’ve never pet a goat or held a giant bug before! Let’s learn how to safely interact with these animals.’

“A lot of times, kids will let go of these fears once they learn a little more about the animals and how to approach them,” she continued. “The parents are always pleasantly surprised! But it’s really fun to see people engage with and learn about animals they would otherwise never have access to, in a safe, educational way.”

Two animals not likely to stir fear in any park goers are the two baby goats born in May; the Game Farm anticipates 13 more goats will be born at the park in the coming weeks.

The Game Farm is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The park is holding a Father’s Day promotion, offering Dads a reduced general admission of $15.

Top image: Baby goat at Long Island Game Farm in Manorville (courtesy photo).

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