Brookgreen Gardens is most famous for its exquisite collection of American sculptures and lavish gardens. They are also great preservation stewards of native wildlife and rare farm animal breeds. Here foxes, alligators, deer, wild turkeys, river otters and many wading birds live in a natural habitat. At the farm you can enjoy seeing (and sometimes pet) unusual types of horses, cows, sheep and fowls. The breeds were brought to South Carolina from Europe and Africa as early as 1500s!
Highligts from the Lowcountry Zoo and farm (data from the exhibits)
Foxy ladies! The gray fox is the only native fox in North America. The red fox was brought here by Europeans in the 1700s to continue their royal fox hunt tradition. Did you know?
• Gray foxes can climb trees, which is a great advantage when trying to escape predators such as the coyotes.
• Gray foxes are often mistaken as red foxes. However they are smaller, mostly gray and have a black tip tail. Red foxes are bright red-orange and have a white tip tail.
• Gray foxes are omnivores.
• Red foxes mate for life.
You can always count on the river otters to put a smile on your face. They are playful, funny, cute and may even pose for you! What else can you ask for?
Marsh Tacky horses, Red Devon cows, Tunis sheep and Guinea fowls
Marsh tacky were brought to America by Spanish settlers in the 1500s. They are closely related to the Bankers ponies of the North Carolina Outer Banks and the Cracker horses in Florida.
Marsh tacky horses have narrow shoulders, a sloped rump, a striped down back and a mellow disposition.
Being short and steady on their feet, and with large heart and stamina, they can maneuver swamp terrain without panicking or getting stuck in the mud.
That’s why the “Swamp Fox” General chose them for his soldiers during the Revolutionary War. The Gullah also used them to plow fields and carry heavy loads. Today they are fewer than 250 pure Marsh Tacky horses.
The first Red Devons arrived in America in 1623. The sturdy and docile cattle were used on plantation as food for their meat and milk, and as oxen to plow fields and haul wagons. Both male and female grow horns.
Tunis sheep were brought here from Africa in 1799. They produce very good meat and remarkable long wool. The lambs are reddish at birth and turn white as they grow. Tunis sheep are very tolerant to heat.
The Guinea fowl originated in sub Saharan Africa. They were kept on plantation for meat. As wild birds they were allowed to roam freely and roost over night in trees to escape predators. They forage well for themselves and are tolerant to heat.
There are more fun kids things to do inside the Lowcountry Center and the Children’s Discovery room (free with garden admission).
Brookgreen Gardens admission is $12 adults, $10 seniors and $6 children 4-12 ($1 off coupon in most travel brochures). Tickets are valid for 7 consecutive days. Call (843) 235-6000 for more info. Open daily 9:30AM to 5PM.
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