South of The Border Has Some Scaly New Residents

When you stop by South of the Border this summer, expect to see some scaly new residents, including alligators, crocodiles and snakes.
Their new home is the recently opened Reptile Lagoon at South of the Border, just off I-95 inside the South Carolina border.  Reptile Lagoon is a 46,000-square foot facility, making it the largest outdoor reptile display in the United States.
The Lagoon houses 15 different species of crocodiles, 40 American alligators, and a host of snakes – eight of which are over 10 feet long – and a variety of turtles and toads.  Many of these creatures are endangered species, including the Morelot’s crocodile, a Paraguayan caiman, a pig-nosed turtle, and a small green tree python.  There are plans to acquire more animals as well, such as flamingos, tilapia, and koi.
The largest of the reptiles is a reticulated python measuring an impressive 24 feet long. Nicknamed Daisy, the albino python was the first to arrive at the Lagoon and is one of the featured attractions due to her size and striking appearance.
Reptile Lagoon also boasts its own reptile physician, Samuel G. Seashole of Cross, S.C.  The “Croc Doc” brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Lagoon, having spent years specializing in the care of crocodiles and alligators.
The reptiles are fed and cared for by an eight-person staff led by curator Manuel Gonzalez.
Depending on species, the animals are usually fed once a week, though baby snakes and crocodiles may be fed twice a week.  Many of the creatures on exhibit are housed within two fences: an inner fence containing the reptile and its surroundings, and an outer fence where visitors can safely view them.
Since its grand opening on Friday, June 18, the Reptile Lagoon has been quite popular.  In its first week, the site drew more than 1,000 visitors and will likely bring many more to our area as it continues to grow.
Reptile Lagoon is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Ryan Schafer of Reptile Lagoon says they may extend the hours to 10 p.m. on weekends in the near future.
A portion of the proceeds from admissions to Reptile Lagoon goes towards the study and protection of endangered reptile species.
Call 843-774-2411 for more information. (Adv.)

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