Monday, August 10 2009
Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden in Evansville has experienced record attendance thanks to the $13 million Amazonia rain forest exhibit. The zoo says 215,208 visitors have passed through its gates since the exhibit opened last August. That's an increase of 83,000 visitors compared to the previous 12 months.
Amazonia Helping Break Zoo Records
It's been a very big year for AMAZONIA at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden. Since AMAZONIA opened on August 4, 2008, 215,208 visitors have passed through the Zoo gates. That's nearly 83,000 visitors more than the Zoo had the during the previous 12-month period (August 2007- August 2008: 132,240), an increase of 61%.
"We had great hopes for AMAZONIA when it opened one year ago and the public response has been overwhelming. This exhibit has created a new excitement around Mesker Park Zoo for staff and visitors alike. Along with the recent unveiling of the renovated Nocturnal exhibit, we hope to continue to see great things happening at the Zoo," said Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel.
All-time attendance records were broken in all but three months during AMAZONIA's first year (September 2008, January and February 2009). The total number of visitors to the Zoo in calendar year 2008 was 180,857 compared to 140,019 in 2007. Attendance thus far in 2009 is on a record pace, with more than 129,000 visitors already through the end of July.
AMAZONIA has also boosted revenue at the Zoo. In 2007, zoo revenue was $799,061 compared to $1,206,645 in 2008, an increase of 66%. Revenue is already at $983,132 through July of 2009.
Attendance at AMAZONIA has also helped the cause of conservation. More than $3,300 has been raised so far by visitors putting coins into the talking tapir, jaguar and toucan heads in the exhibit. Hundreds of Zoo visitors have learned about conservation during educational programs that have taken place at AMAZONIA since it opened. In honor of the exhibit’s anniversary, Zoo staff has scheduled an educational program for 1:00 p.m. each day through August 31st at AMAZONIA. Today’s program is Tapir Talk; others include fish feeding, bat chat and the plants of AMAZONIA just to name a few.
Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden is open 365 days a year from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p..m.; the entry gate closes at 4:00 p.m. Admission for adults is $8.50 and $7.50 for children ages 3-12. Children under 3 are free. In recognition of their support, Vanderburgh County residents receive a $1 discount. Please visit www.meskerparkzoo.com for information regarding yearly memberships or other Zoo services.
Source: Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden & Inside INdiana Business