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Riverbanks Zoo and Garden’s new Aquarium & Reptile Conservation Center

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A preview of the desert biome at the new Darnall W. and Susan F. Boyd Aquarium & Reptile Conservation Center.

The renovations to the zoo’s Aquarium-Reptile Complex were made possible through support from The Boyd Foundation, transforming it into a state-of-the-art animal care facility.

Photo provided by Riverbanks Zoo and Garden

It’s o-fish-al: Riverbanks Zoo and Garden’s new Darnall W. and Susan F. Boyd Aquarium & Reptile Conservation Center is now open (and we couldn’t be more ex-sssited). 🐍

The reimagined attraction and educational facility gives guests an engaging experience and a chance to see wildlife conservation efforts first-hand.

A child looking at a new feature at the Riverbanks Zoo & Garden's latest attraction.

Now, guests can explore temperate and tropical forests, trek through the desert, and wind their way from land to sea in an immersive journey.

Photo provided by Riverbanks Zoo & Garden

The immersive experience provided by the new center will feature:

  • Conservation Labs: See hands-on work that was previously only experienced during behind-the-scenes tours.
  • Coral Lab: Get an up-close view of the critical role Riverbanks plays in protecting coral reefs. The lab showcases colonies of corals that were rescued off the coast of Florida near Key West.
  • Terrestrial Lab: Take a look at endangered reptiles and amphibians from around the globe and learn about Riverbanks’ work supporting populations of geckos, plus collaborative projects protecting SC’s most endangered wildlife.
  • Desert Biome: This new immersive habitat features desert dwellers like tortoises, rattlesnakes, and Gila monsters, as well as thick-billed parrots and burrowing owls.

Other highlights:

  • Floor-to-ceiling views of some favorite aquatic + reptilian residents
  • A giant wall of moon jellies
  • In the coming weeks, guests will have a chance to meet a giant octopus named Susan (in honor of Susan Boyd and her favorite animal).

Don’t be jelly and miss all of the fun. Swim on over and explore Riverbanks’ new Aquarium & Reptile Conservation Center. Plan your visit.*


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