Already the UK’s most visited zoo, the new total of 1,969,768 visitors in 2018 sets an all-time high in the attraction’s 88-year history.
Jamie Christon, Chief Operating Officer at the zoo, said: “The whole zoo team would like to thank every single visitor that walked through our gates in 2018, helping us to prevent extinction around the world.
“We are fighting to ensure a future of an array of animals and plants – both here in Chester and through 80 vital conservation projects, spanning 30 different countries. These global initiatives use the latest scientific research, animal welfare knowledge and technical know-how to ensure the survival of many of the world’s most at-risk species. Importantly, they also support local communities living side-by-side with the animals, ensuring they feel completely invested in protecting the amazing biodiversity around them. None of this would be possible without the fantastic support of our visitors and members.”
The zoo saw an unprecedented number of rare animal births in 2018 including the UK’s first ever sun bear cub. The zoo’s conservationists also achieved a number of high profile breakthroughs in the wild, from the ground-breaking discovery of bongo in Uganda to the rescue of 100 songbirds from the illegal wildlife trade. Funds generated from the record-breaking visitor figures will enable the zoo to continue to prevent extinction in 2019.
The zoo also has major plans this year. Jamie Christon added: “Later in 2019, we have a number of new state-of-the-art animal habitats opening, including a huge zone that will allow people to experience the habitats and wildlife of Madagascar, as well as an exciting line-up of events for visitors to enjoy throughout the year.”
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