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The overall mission statement of this blog is to share many unique topics of this blogger's interest. Topics include (but are not limited to): Southern Cultural Heritage, Local History of the South Carolina Upstate, Confederate Heritage Preservation & Awareness, Americana, Nature & Wildlife Preservation, Science & Science Fiction, Astronomy & Night Sky Photography, Literacy & Writing, Travel & Local Places Of Interest, Southern Cuisine, Popular Culture & Philosophy, Classic Animation Nostalgia, Fandom ....as well as various other topics explained from the blogger's point of view. The following website contains the UNCENSORED thoughts and opinions of a Southern-born country writer from upstate South Carolina - the living, beating heart of the great American Southland!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Visiting Riverbanks Zoo And Garden In Columbia -- Part One

On Tuesday, June 13th, I visited one of my favorite places on a day trip with my sister's family: Riverbanks Zoo And Garden in Columbia, South Carolina

Comprised of a 170-acre zoo, aquarium, and botanical garden located along the Saluda River, Riverbanks covers parts of two counties: Richland and Lexington as well as two towns with the main zoo located in Columbia and the botanical garden itself across the river extending into the nearby city of West Columbia

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is home to more than 2,000 animals from around the world (several of them endangered and protected species) in dynamic natural habitat exhibits, an amazing Aquarium and Reptile Complex, as well as one of the most beautiful and inspiring botanical gardens in the United States. In addition to the outstanding animal and plant exhibits, the zoo also boasts scenic river views, overlooks, and significant historical landmarks. 

Since opening on April 25, 1974, Riverbanks has become one of the most frequently visited tourist spots in the State of South Carolina, drawing over 1.2 million visitors each year.  

The following are photos I took of my trip there with my sister Olivia, brother-in-law David, and nephews Jacob Tyler "J.T." and Caleab -- my 7th official lifetime visit to Riverbanks since my very first visit during my 3rd grade field trip at age 8 (which incidentally has a somewhat unique story in and of itself, but more on that in a future blog post). 

I took a large number of photos because there is just so much to take in. So this post will be split into three parts, each with their own major highlights.

Welcome to Riverbanks Zoo and Garden.
My two favorite goobers: Jacob Tyler (J.T.) Morris
& Caleab Morris posing in front of just one of many
amazing animal statues throughout Riverbanks Zoo
& Garden.
J.T. and his parents looking into the River Otter exhibit.
Caleab trying to see the Otters from below the waterline.
My brother-in-law David with J.T. & Caleab on the tiger statue.
My sister Olivia with J.T. & Caleab on the tiger statue.
Look at the size of those paws!
Riverbanks Zoo & Garden provides many
outstanding educational exhibits like these.
The only good facial shot this little fella gave me.
Lorikeet feeding.
Olivia and Caleab meeting Pumpkin the Corn Snake.
Siamang Islands. These guys are cool!
A nice shot of the family together.
Yours truly with the fox statue.
The squirrels at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden are so used to
people, they will practically take food from your hand....
almost.

Well folks, this concludes part one of my trip with the family to Riverbanks Zoo & Garden. Part two will be coming up next, until then have a wonderful Dixie Day y'all, and safe travels. 

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