The SC Aquarium – Charleston, SC

Last weekend Neil and I spent in Charleston, SC. Mostly we just wandered around, took some photos, and ate some fabulous food. Friday we went to the SC Aquarium –

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I want to start by saying, I can’t imagine what the costs and time and effort must be to run a place like an aquarium or zoo, but being that this aquarium is fairly new (opened May 2000), I was surprised at how small most of the tanks and habitats were. Especially the brand new penguin exhibit. There were 4 penguins in a tank that would have fit in my living room. Now maybe it extended back into an area not viewable by the public, but I don’t actually think so. They had a bald eagle on exhibit…by itself, inside, in a netted in area that was no longer than the main hallway that runs the length of my house…and ceilings of about 15 feet, maybe 20. The part the bothered me the most, was that this eagle was still young. It didn’t even have a fully white head yet. I understand the need to find spaces for birds and other animals that cannot be released back into the wild for whatever reason, but to me, this was close to being utterly unacceptable.

These alligators were in a habitat that in my estimation, would not hold even one full sized one. If memory serves, there were 3-5 young ones, all about the size of the guy pictured above.  Granted, I don’t think alligators are extremely active, but still…the room was small.
Overall, I was not impressed with the place – one of the largest areas in the entire building was the gift shop. I left there feeling like all the animals were living in conditions that would be the equivalent of having Moo live in a 5’x8′ dog run her entire life. Maybe I was just having a bad day, but regardless, those were my impressions of the place.

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4 thoughts on “The SC Aquarium – Charleston, SC

  1. I feel the same way you do when I see animals in zoos, aquariums, or even at the nature center we were at this weekend that are in enviroments that are too small for them. I understand the need to rehab animals, have a place to educate people and all of that but I still think establishments should be fair to the animals they're housing. I love zoos that have huge habitats that are as natural as possible for the animal living there.

  2. I wish that were the case…unless they had something happening behind the scenes, there wasn't any construction going on that we could see or heard about.

  3. I have not been to the NC zoo or aquarium yet, but I hear both are pretty nice. And the Atlanta aquarium is supposed to be superb. I think it was on National Geographic, several years ago now, that I saw that one of the best zoos in America is the Brooklyn zoo. I don't know if that is still true, but I would definitely like to see it someday. I remember the zoo in Portland, OR…it was fantastic. As are both zoos in Washington (one is in Seattle the other in Tacoma).

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