Go Wild at Brookgreen Gardens!

We have such a treasure here on the Grand Strand in Brookgreen Gardens. If you have never been, this is a must-see attraction when you stay with us at Dayton House Resort. There’s no place like Brookgreen anywhere else in the state and your admission gets you unlimited entrance for a week. From the moment you walk through the front entrance, you’ll recognize this as a grand experience. There’s so much to see and do you simply must take more than a day. Lush gardens, boat tours, sculptures, an amazing restaurant and the zoo are just a few of the highlights. Now you can be a part of and see Brookgreen from the staff’s point of view with their Zookeeper for a Day program.

The Brookgreen Zoo is definitely not your typical commercial zoo overrun with visitors and lines for animal viewing. The grounds throughout the gardens are immaculate and thoughtfully laid out and this carries over to the zoo. Animals found in the Native Wildlife Zoo are just that, animals you will find in our gorgeous Lowcountry. It is also the only zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums on the coast of North and South Carolina. All animals within the zoo are there because they were either raised in captivity or injured in the wild. The animals found here could not survive in the wild which makes Brookgreen a very special home for them and if you participate in the Zookeeper for a Day program then you are forever a part of that home for them as well.

If you have a special love for animals and have ever wondered what life behind the scenes of a zoo is like, then Brookgreen has a new program just for you! Spend the day with our own zookeepers while you assist in feeding, cleaning and general animal care.  You will be up close and personal with the residents of the zoo and can even get a snake selfie!

The day of your zookeeper experience will be one in the “wild” here at Brookgreen and so be prepared to get a little dirty. Zookeepers work in all weather and are outside so keep that in mind when considering your clothing options for your adventure. The zoo will provide you with a t-shirt and name tag. They do ask for you to wear khaki’s or jeans although shorts are allowed in the summer. No sandals or flip-flops though, as they do require closed-toe shoes for safety reasons.  Since this is the south and we have many biting bugs year round, bug spray is always suggested at outdoor events such as this.

Curious about the animals you will be working with? They are quite used to human interactions, however, they are wild animals so we can never fully predict their actions. The native animals you will find in the zoo are alligators; bald eagles; grey and red foxes; hawks; owls; river otters and whitetail deer. Brookgreen also has domestic animals in the zoo such as Dominique chickens; Marsh Tacky horses; mule; Red Devon cows; Tunis sheep; Spanish goats and wild turkeys. Last, but far from least, is the Cypress Aviary which is home to Black-crowned night herons; egrets; great blue herons; hooded merganser and Ibises. The zoo is filled with wildlife for you to learn from and enjoy during your day as a zookeeper.

Each session must be reserved in advance and the spaces fill quickly. Due to the nature of this event, each session only accepts one reservation so that the time you spend with the animals is unique to you and your experience and not split up among other guests. If you are considering the program for your children, Brookgreen is only able to accept participants 12 years of age or older. To reserve your space or learn more details about the program call 843.235.6000. As a guest with Dayton House Resort in Myrtle Beach, if we can help you with directions or your reservations, please let us know. 

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