Over 1, 400, 000 people have flocked through the zoo’s turnstiles so far in 2011 – the very first time the conservation charity has broken the 1.4 million visitors mark. The numbers already surpass the previous best of 1, 373, 459, set in 2008.
Managing Director of Chester Zoo, Barbara Smith, said: "Never before in the zoo’s history have so many people visited us in a calendar year and so we’re absolutely delighted – it’s a fantastic feat.
"Our sincere thanks go to every single person that has come here because, as a registered charity, every visit helps us to carry out all of our vital conservation work – helping save species from extinction both here in the UK and overseas.
"The fact that we’ve had so many visitors in 2011 helps us to do more and more of this good work, which is fantastic.
"I’m extremely proud of the zoo and what it has achieved this year. The numbers are more proof that we are doing things right and we will continue to make improvements, for both animals and visitors."
The zoo now hopes to build on its success with a number of exciting developments planned.
The UK’s first ever breeding centre for endangered giant otters will be unveiled in the next few weeks and its main entrance and jaguar house are also undergoing major re-vamps.
A "bigger and better" set of animatronic dinosaurs from America are also set to return in 2012, following the huge success of Dinosaurs at Large!, an exhibition that featured in the zoo earlier this year.
About Chester Zoo
Chester Zoo was named as the Large Tourist Attraction of the Year at the 2011 Marketing Cheshire Awards. Dinosaurs at Large! was also named as the best event of 2011. Dinosaurs at Large! featured 13 animatronic dinosaurs from America. The event opened on July 1 2011 and ended in Oct 8 2011.
Chester Zoo is a registered conservation charity and supports projects around the world and closer to home in Cheshire. It is the largest zoo in the UK; home to 7000 animals, 400 different species, many of which are endangered. The zoo has had visitors 1, 406, 227 in total (up to 12/12/20011) in 2011 – the first time in the zoo’s history that it has recorded more than 1.4 million visitors in a year.