Our attendance record was shattered for the sixth straight fiscal year, with 1,028,516 guests! Exceeding one million visitors is a first in our 127 years. We couldn’t have done it without your undying loyalty, support and love for Texas’s oldest and largest zoo.
“It feels great to reach more than a million visitors just a few years after privatizing,” said Gregg Hudson, Dallas Zoo president and CEO. “We’re honored that our community is welcoming our new concepts in the zoological field, whether it’s airing a baby’s birth live on Animal Planet or becoming the first zoo in North America to mix elephants with giraffes.”
“With each milestone the Dallas Zoo reaches, our city shines a little brighter,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said. “The zoo’s sixth straight year of record attendance, exceeding 1 million guests for the first time, proves that something special is occurring. The strategic public-private management partnership of the zoo in 2009 was a key factor in Dallas Zoo’s rise as one of the nation’s greatest zoos, and we know we’ll see even more great things at this iconic, 127-year-old zoological park in coming years.”
Since becoming a privately managed asset of the city of Dallas in 2009, Dallas Zoo attendance is up by nearly 340,000 guests. Visitor totals exceeded last year’s attendance by 85,316, or more than 9%.
Of the 228 facilities accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), the Dallas Zoo now joins just 30 other zoos to reach a million visitors annually. Zoo officials credit the increase to several key factors:
- One of the largest dinosaur exhibits in the U.S. called the Dallas Zoo home for six months. Giants of the Jurassic included more than 25 roaring, animatronic dinosaurs; the theatrical puppet experience of Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live; and DinoSOAR, an interactive wildlife show presented by Kimberly-Clark.
- Dollar Day on July 16 drew 41,422 guests, setting the largest attendance record for a single day.
- Dallas Zoo teamed with Animal Planet to broadcast giraffe calf Kipenzi’s birth live. The event was seen by more than 4 million viewers.
- Giants of the Savanna was voted No. 3 zoo habitat in the nation – and the best in Texas — by USA Today’s 10Best, and the zoo was named one of the nation’s 10 best by USA Today.
- Named one of “10 Amazing Zoos in the World” by MSN Travel/Reader’s Digest.
- Named one of the “Best U.S. Zoos” by noted travel author Jon Wassner.
- The zoo earned a fourth consecutive Certificate of Excellence award as one of the world’s best businesses by TripAdvisor, the largest travel reviewing and planning web site.
You have put us in the ranks as one of the nation’s best zoological parks. A giant “thanks” for helping us spread the word about the renaissance under way here. Stay tuned for more big things coming to your Dallas Zoo.
Check out this time-lapse video and look for yourself!