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San Diego Zoo, Safari Park combine to top 5.5 million in 2018 attendance

Generic San Diego Zoo
Posted at 6:39 PM, Jan 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-03 21:39:02-05

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego Zoo and Zoo Safari Park combined for a record attendance of more than 5.5 million visitors in 2018, it was announced today.

More than 4 million people visited the zoo in 2018 and over 1.5 million visited the Safari Park. It was the first year in the zoo's 100-year history in which attendance surpassed 4 million, according to zoo officials, who believe the appeal of new exhibits such as Walkabout Australia and Conrad Prebys Africa Rocks contributed significantly to the record-setting year.

"We are delighted to have been able to host more than four million people at the zoo, and I know that a lot of this is due to the wonderful new guest areas and the commitment to guest service shown by our employees every day," said San Diego Zoo Director Dwight Scott. "It has been a pleasure to share our love of wildlife with so many people this year -- and we know that this high attendance will help to fund additional conservation work in the future."

Zoo officials also touted the year's conservation efforts of San Diego Zoo Global, the nonprofit that runs the zoo and the Safari Park. The organization was able to continue increasing its work conserving and protecting at-risk species all over the world due, in part, to the record attendance numbers.

"This attendance record shows us that people care about wildlife, and care about saving species," said Douglas G. Myers, president and CEO of San Diego Zoo Global. "This last year, we increased communications about the need to save species and ran advertising asking people to support our efforts by coming to the zoo and the Safari Park. More than five and a half million people responded by visiting us in 2018 -- imagine what we can do to save species next year!"