The Abilene Zoo was hopping during spring break 2017, setting an attendance record that topples totals for at least a decade.
More than 24,600 people visited the zoo between Saturday, March 11, and Sunday, March 19. Abilene Zoo members accounted for 2,950 of those visitors, and the busiest day of the week was Wednesday, March 15, when 3,836 people visited the zoo – a one day attendance record during spring break. The zoo entertained nearly 20,000 guests during spring break 2016.
Zip codes collected at the gate show almost 75 percent of spring break visitors came from homes outside Taylor County. Three percent of those lived outside Texas, with Abilene entertaining travelers from Yellowstone, Wyoming, as well as guests from Michigan and Alaska.
“With the new Giraffe Safari exhibit opening at the end of April of 2016, this was the first year spring breakers could enjoy our giraffe herd and the Twiga Terrace,” said Marketing Coordinator Kelly Thompson. “We also know opening the swan boat rentals generated a lot of excitement among the guests, as well.”
More than 1,800 people paddled around Nelson Lake in the new swan boats. Even the wind cooperated. The swan boats can’t go out during winds of more than 15 miles per hour and were grounded for only two days during their opening week. Paddleboat rentals are available on weekends from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will be open daily startingApril 1.
“We put on a good show. The zoo keepers and education staff offered exceptional programming every day,” Thompson said. “Guests could enjoy hands-on animal encounters and daily zoo keeper chats about the zoo’s colorful residents.”
For information about upcoming events at the Abilene Zoo, a downloadable calendar is available at www.abilenezoo.org.