The Abilene Zoo set a record for attendance during the just-ended 2013 fiscal year, drawing 224,805 visitors and beating the previous record established a year earlier by more than 7,000 visitors.
Zoo officials made the announcement in a news release Thursday.
The new fiscal year began Oct. 1.
During fiscal 2012, the zoo drew a then-record 217,103 visitors. Attendance has continued to grow since the zoo attracted 114,328 visitors in 2005.
“Our dedicated zoo staff has worked hard to make our zoo a memorable experience for our visitors,” Zoo Director Bill Gersonde said in a news release.
“We are delighted with the Big Country’s response.”
Gersonde said the opening of the zoo’s Caribbean Cove exhibit and its black-footed ferret exhibit were major factors in the increase in attendance.
“But the overall improvement in the guest experience played a big part, too,” Gersonde said.
The Abilene Zoo is generally recognized as Abilene’s No. 1 attraction.