Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has announced another record breaking year with attendance of over 849, 000.
Commenting on the news Mayor Alvin Brown said, “With this new attendance record, the Jacksonville Zoo keeps getting bigger and better and more popular every year. The Zoo is a precious community treasure, enhancing our quality of life and serving as a top tourist destination. It’s been a great Jacksonville tradition for 100 years, introducing a world of natural wonders to residents and visitors alike. Jacksonville wouldn’t be Jacksonville without our Zoo.”
Dr David S. Loeb, chair of the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ board of directors, added, “Seeing an increase of more than 33, 000 visitors shows that Jacksonville recognizes the continuous transformation of our Zoo and that our community wants to grow with us. We are honored daily with every new and familiar face we see as we continue our mission and vision for another 100 years.”
This is the fourth year in a row that the Zoo has broken the previous year’s record, with new animals being a key driver for continued popularity. This year Jacksonville Zoo has welcomed a new baby bonobo, marking the seventh bonobo birth at the Zoo since the species arrival in 1998.
Julianne Parish, mammal keeper at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens explained that “Zoo staff is especially excited about this healthy, bonobo infant boy because he is Jo-T’s first offspring, and she is doing great as a new mom. Very few zoos in the world have bonobos and she and her baby are very important to the small bonobo population. Her son will likely remain with Jo-T for his entire life, as males in the wild rely on their mother’s status to ensure their place within the bonobo society.”
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is preparing for continued success with a raft of key strategic appointments made last year including Philip Alia as Deputy Director of Marketing and Community Relations, Leanne White as Curator of Education, Mike Taylor as Curator of Birds, Herps. and Others, and John Lukas as Conservation & Science Manager.
Image Credit: Bonobo – Marian Brickner