Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Brookgreen Gardens: Lowcountry Zoo

Date of Visit: March 18, 2024

Brookgreen Gardens is a place I have been wanting to take Mik to since we moved to Myrtle Beach almost 4 years ago. When my godmother came to visit us, we made it one of our top priorities of things to do during her visit.

We decided to do the Lowcountry Zoo area first. There are different parking areas and you can park near the farm/zoo area, but we parked in the main parking by the museum shop and walked/rolled over to the animal exhibits. This allowed us to at least see some statues and the garden areas along the way.

We ended up at the farm area as they were getting ready to go through the zoo area and feed the animals. We did not specifically go on the tour as Mik wanted to go at our own pace, which was faster or slower than the tour depending on the animal area.

Mik was glad he did not use his powerchair when we got to the aviaries. It was a tight squeeze to go in with only one door open, but we had plenty of hands and could have easily opened both if needed. His powerchair would have been totally fine for this outing, but I only convinced him to go if we took the manual and he could have his hands free to take photos.

We enjoyed being in the Cypress Swamp Aviary when they fed the birds.

Mik did not so much enjoy getting pooped on by a bird, but at least it mainly ended up on his wheelchair frame by his brakes and casters and not him. Mik pretty much always has wipes in his bag, so we easily cleaned it up after we exited the aviary.

We then took some time watching the otters while the feeding tour moved on. We then ended up ahead of the tour when Mik wanted to quickly go by the stinky foxes. Also, the way the barriers were for the foxes and some of the rest of the enclosures made it hard for Mik to see over/through to see anything, which kind of annoyed him.

While in the Birds of Prey area, we again joined the tour and learned about how the eagles were rescues. The tour ended after this area. It includes the alligators seasonally, but it was still too early in the year for them to be fed, which was actually interesting to learn about their torpor state (later learned the guide used wrong word for the winter dormancy and it’s actually called brumation) more than watching them fed.

By this point Mik was ready to go because he was cold (hands instead of his usual feet and it was my fault for leaving home his gloves that he recently bought to stay in his backpack). Since we were mostly through the zoo, we continued on the trail and went through the Waterfowl Aviary and past the Red Wolf Ridge (none were out easy to spot here) as we headed back to the truck.

The Waterfowl Aviary was our favorite. In particular, Nora and I enjoyed identifying the different ducks and adding some new lifers to our bird lists. I especially had been wanting to see a Ruddy Duck.

Overall it was an enjoyable morning visit. I would have liked if we could have had lunch and stayed longer, but Mik was done for the day because he hurt from sitting in his wheelchair, which we think is from the seatbelt not being able to be tight enough to keep him positioned well (really should have paid attention when Dad adjusted it for him this winter as it seems it needs to be adjusted seasonally). If we had bought tickets, we could have gone back again another day that week and definitely would have, but we had used guest passes which they take when you enter. Hopefully, another time we can go back and see more of the actual garden areas and the statues that are throughout. Definitely plenty more to see and good easy paths for the either the manual or power.

Destination Info:
Brookgreen Gardens
1931 Brookgreen Drive
Murrells Inlet, SC 29576

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