Nashville Zoo Experiences Record-Breaking 2012
Nashville Zoo has set a new annual attendance record with 787,548 visitors in 2012, marking a 21 percent increase from the previous year and the highest attendance jump in Zoo history.
“2012 was a banner year for our organization,” said Rick Schwartz, Zoo president. “Our membership program grew to 33,000 households representing more than 140,000 individuals. We are grateful for the continued community support for making us the number one paid attraction in Middle Tennessee.”
Zoo officials believe several factors helped drive attendance, including the addition of DinoTrek, the births of a Masai giraffe and six clouded leopards, and pleasant weather throughout the year. The Zoo’s growth has been well received by visitors, like Cool Springs Galleria general manager David Meadows, who made his first trip to the Zoo in several years this past May.
“The changes to Nashville Zoo over the last two years have taken it to a different level,” said Meadows. “The DinoTrek exhibit was a great temporary addition and the expanded parking area has made access much easier. While we always have to stop and see the meerkats, baby giraffe Camilla has become the favorite during visits. It’s great to see the community’s corporate sponsors support Nashville Zoo and allow us to have such a quality institution in a city of our size.”
To accommodate its rapid growth, the Zoo plans to update infrastructural components in 2013 including an expanded entrance from Nolensville Pike and additional parking. The Zoo is also excited to announce the spring opening of Kangaroo Kickabout, a walkthrough exhibit allowing guests to enter the home of several red kangaroos.
“Kangaroo Kickabout is very exciting because it adds another interactive experience for our visitors,” said Schwartz. “We want to thank Jim and Sally Hunt for sponsoring their second exhibit and bringing the Australian Outback to Middle Tennessee.”
Nashville Zoo is accredited by the prestigious Association of Zoos and Aquariums, assuring the highest standards of animal care and husbandry. Attracting more than 787,000 visitors annually, the Zoo is considered one of the top things to do in Nashville. The Zoo is a non-profit organization located at 3777 Nolensville Pike and is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. The mission of Nashville Zoo is to inspire a culture of understanding and discovery of our natural world through conservation, innovation and leadership. For more information about Nashville Zoo, call 615-833-1534 or visit www.nashvillezoo.org.