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Dallas Zoo smashes all-time yearly attendance record
Oct 24, 2013

Dallas Zoo smashes all-time yearly attendance record
Elephant/giraffe integration, evening concert series spur fourth straight increase  

The Dallas Zoo has set an all-time attendance record for the fourth consecutive year, with 915,971 guests visiting Texas’ largest and oldest zoo in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.

During the zoo’s 125th birthday year, visitor totals exceeded last year’s attendance by a remarkable 46,166, or more than 5%.

“Such an accomplishment validates the hard work our staff and volunteers have put into making the Zoo a leader in education and conservation in North Texas, as well as an incredibly fun place to visit,” said Gregg Hudson, president and CEO of Dallas Zoo Management Inc. “The community obviously values our new concepts that create unique opportunities for both animals and guests, whether it’s later hours and music during Safari Nights or becoming the first Zoo in North America to mix elephants and giraffes.”

“It’s deeply gratifying and exciting that the community is rediscovering the Dallas Zoo in greater numbers and, most importantly, walking out proud of the changes we’ve made since privatization,” said Michael L. Meadows, president and chief executive officer of the Dallas Zoological Society.

Since becoming a privately managed asset of the city of Dallas in 2009, Dallas Zoo attendance is up by a quarter of a million guests.

“The renaissance at the Dallas Zoo has quietly created one of the nation’s best zoological parks,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “This record attendance in the zoo’s 125th year proves that the community recognizes and appreciates the ongoing efforts by zoo officials and the City of Dallas. The private management of this treasured City asset is a success story on every front.”

Zoo officials credit the increase to several key factors:

  • This spring, the zoo became the first in the nation to successfully combine elephants and giraffes in the same habitat, the award-winning Giants of the Savanna exhibit.
  • Tekin and Kobi, the only koalas in Texas, remain a popular draw.
  • The new Safari Nights evening concerts drew more than 1,000 visitors each week.
  • The births of a rare ocelot kitten, as well as the addition of two new male gorillas, cheetah cubs Winspear and Kamau, and their companion Labrador puppy, Amani.
  • MetroPCS Dollar Day on July 18 drew 32,212 guests, the second-highest ever for that event. That led to the busiest July in history at the zoo.

 

“This was certainly a year we’ll remember,” Hudson said. “We can’t wait to roll out even more remarkable changes in the future.”

 

The Dallas Zoo was recently awarded a Certificate of Excellence as one of the world’s best businesses by TripAdvisor, the largest travel reviewing and planning web site, and maintains a four-star rating on Yelp.

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