Riverbanks Zoo’s 50th anniversary celebrations: new partnerships and initiatives

Projects, partnerships, and free admission highlight Riverbanks Zoo’s 50th anniversary, promising unforgettable experiences for visitors.

Komodo Dragon Riverbanks Zoo

Rendering of the new Komodo Dragon habitat. | Rendering provided by Riverbanks Zoo

As Riverbanks Zoo’s 50th anniversary approaches, the zoo announced new facilities, gave updates on conservation initiatives, and shared about new partnerships. Visitors can expect to see:

A new Komodo dragon breeding facility

The anticipated opening is slated for late this spring or summer and will allow for more engaging, up-close views of the endangered lizards.

The Jane B. Friedman Conservation Learning Center

The new education facility will feature a larger indoor and outdoor classroom setting that can expand its offerings of innovative educational experiences. The new education center is currently in the design phase + expected to open in 2026.


Rendering of the orangutan habitat | Photo provided by Riverbanks Zoo

The expansion of the Bridge to the Wild project

Watch this seven-minute video to see what the local zoo has in store as the Bridge to the Wild project continues to expand. Locals can expect:

  • River development
  • New restaurant overlooking the Saluda River and new orangutan exhibit
  • New SC nature and history preserve
  • Aerial trams
  • New walkways + habitats that house black bears, red wolves, and bald eagles

A partnership with Peak Drift Brewery

Craft beer + hard seltzer — sipped from Peak Drift’s 100% recyclable cans — are expected to roll out this spring and will be available at the Zoo and wherever Peak Drift spirits are sold.

A partnership to help birds avoid windows

This new partnership between Riverbanks, SC Wildlife Federation, and the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ North American Songbird SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction will boost bird safety with the CollidEscape window vinyl. This initiative aims to prevent glass collisions. Guests can view the bird-friendly installation at Riverbanks’ Tuskers restaurant, enhancing both safety + aesthetics.

Don’t forget, Residents of Richland and Lexington Counties can enjoy Free Fridays throughout February.

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