Space Farms has new bear cubs on exhibit

| 29 Sep 2011 | 02:42

Opening day is Saturday, April 11 Sussex — Visitors to Space Farms Zoo and Museum will see new exhibits when the 100 acre complex opens on Saturday, April 11. “I was very excited when my son Parker informed me there were bear cub suckling noises in the dens. The little cubs just came out of the dens last weekend,” said Fred Space, who owns Space Farms with his son Parker. The cubs are a hybrid cross between American and Japanese Hokkaido bears. Cute as their namesake toy, the bear cubs are about the size of a bread box and weigh 10 pounds, with intriguing white fur collars. The mothers are very protective, shepherding the cubs on their first forays out of the den. “The white collars are indicative of the Japanese side of their genealogy,” adds Fred Space. “It’s wonderful to have little ones at the zoo again.” Fred Space is known worldwide for his breeding of endangered bear species. The last purebred pair of Hokkaido bears were brought to Space Farms to breed under his supervision. Space Farms sent the purebred cubs back to Uneo Japan in the 1980s and the specie continues in Japan to this day because of the selective breeding accomplished at Space Farms. A new black leopard cub also arrived at the zoo in time for this spring’s opening. The black leopard is commonly known as a black panther. The scientific term is melaninistic, black spots on black background fur instead of black spots on tawny colored fur. Her spots shimmer in the sunlight like a jacquard silk fabric. She weighs 35 pounds at six months old and is full of cub energy. The leopard cub was previously involved in educational outreach shows in New York and outgrew the program. “We named her Lola, like the Barry Manlow song, said Nursery Zoologist Lori Space Day. “She is a feisty like a show girl too, but that is typical leopard behavior. Leopards do not make good house pets.” Plow Barn is refurbished In the Space Farms Museum, new barn doors are the finishing touch on the recently refurbished Plow Barn. A 100 foot farm folk art mural is background to many types of plows on display. Prominently featured are three Deckertown plows, manufactured by the O.J. Little Foundry, (Deckertown is now Sussex.) Also displayed in the Plow Barn Museum are Ferrell Hay Forks. Invented in Sussex County and manufactured in Newton, the Ferrell Hay Fork was used throughout the United States. Space Farms Zoo and Museum is open daily starting April 11, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Admission prices are $13.50 per adult, $9 per child and $12.50 per senior. Group rates and season passes are available. Space Farms is located at 218 Route 519, in Sussex. For more information call 973-875-5800 or visit