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The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens announces that the Zoo has broken all previous attendance records for its fiscal year October 1, 2010, through September 30, 2011. The Zoo had 751, 942 visitors during this time for a six percent increase over the previous best attendance record set in 2005/2006 when the Zoo opened its popular kids’ Play Park area. The new record attendance was also close to a 12.5% increase over the previous year’s 688, 848. Credit for this achievement goes to the Zoo’s popular spring dinosaur exhibit, DinoAlive, and its 2010 Spooktacular Halloween event record-breaking attendance that led the fiscal year to its first ever 100, 000 plus attendees for the month of October.
Tony Vecchio, Executive Director of Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, said “For the past decade, our staff and Board of Directors have worked so hard to make the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens into a cultural resource for which all Jacksonville citizens can feel proud. To see the community respond by making us the number one most visited cultural attraction in our City is so rewarding.”
For more than 96 years, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has been dedicated to inspiring discovery and appreciation of wildlife through innovative experience in a caring environment. Since its beginning in 1914, with an animal collection that consisted of only one red deer fawn, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has become one of the top zoos in the nation. It now features more than 1, 800 rare and exotic animals and over 1, 000 unique plant species. Preservation of sustainable biodiversity is a key mission of the Zoo. The Zoo is a non-profit organization and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. It is open year-round, seven-days-a-week, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is located on Jacksonville’s north side at 370 Zoo Parkway, one-half mile east from I-95. For more information, go to jacksonvillezoo.org.