AKRON, Ohio – The Akron Zoo set a new all-time annual attendance record on Friday, September 27, 2013, surpassing the previous annual attendance record of 332,960, which was set just last year. Since the zoo’s new exhibit, the Mike & Mary Stark Grizzly Ridge, opened July 20, 2013, the zoo has seen record crowds visiting daily.
On July 24, 2013 the zoo shattered its all-time one day attendance record with over 6,300 people. The previous record was 5,714 set in 1957. Of the now over 336,000 people that have visited the zoo this year about 50% of those visitors have come since the opening of Grizzly Ridge. Nine of the zoo’s top 10 attended days in history have come since the new exhibit opened.
“We are so humbled by the community’s support of their zoo. Our staff and volunteers have worked hard to provide our visitors with more animals, more education and more exhibits,” said zoo President & CEO L. Patricia Simmons. “With the community’s support and feedback they have helped create up-close experiences with some of the world’s most amazing creatures.”
Grizzly Ridge is the largest exhibit to open in the zoo’s 60-year history. The new exhibit, which is about four acres, features grizzly bears, river otters, red wolves, bald eagles and a walk-in aviary. Coyotes are expected to be on exhibit this fall as part of the new expansion. One of the most popular spots in Grizzly Ridge has been the otter slide, which is a fully enclosed acrylic tube that goes through the otter exhibit.
The Akron Zoo is open 361 days a year. Zoo hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and admission is $10 for adults, $8.50 for senior citizens, $7 for children (ages 2-14). Children under two are free and parking is $2.00. For more information visit www.akronzoo.org or call (330) 375-2550.
Founded in 1953, the Akron Zoo is a non-profit, world conservation zoo with over 700 animals from around the world. Located just west of Downtown Akron, the zoo strives to provide a dynamic, financially responsible, guest centered animal experience that is energized by innovation and fun. The Akron Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats.