2012: Another record-breaker for Zoo Atlanta
Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The year was the second most-attended year in Zoo Atlanta history 
ATLANTA – January 8, 2013 – Zoo Atlanta is Atlanta’s oldest cultural destination, but its 2012 attendance was the second-highest ever noted in the organization’s more than 123-year history, forecasting a future of continued growth.
The year’s attendance of 866,425 guests is now second only to attendance from 2000, the banner year the Zoo welcomed just over 1 million guests following the arrival of giant pandas Lun Lun and Yang Yang. Calendar year 2012 also surpassed 2011 attendance by seven percent, even sailing past numbers recorded in 2007, the year the Zoo’s first giant panda cub, Mei Lan, made his debut. 
The year began on a historic high, with more than 20,200 guests attending Walmart Sunday Funday in February – the highest paid attendance day since the Zoo opened in 1889. In two years of continued growth, 2012 attendance has surpassed 2010 attendance by more than 193,000 visitors, up 29%.
Foremost among the Zoo’s newest offerings were giraffe feeding and Wild Encounters, both launched in spring 2012. The Wild Encounters program, which permits guests to meet and feed an African elephant, Komodo dragon or giant panda, introduced exciting behind-the-scenes experiences that had previously never been offered as part of a regular Zoo visit. 
“Obviously, we had the wind at our backs with the great weather we had during the year. But even beyond that, our attendance in 2011 and 2012 also tells us that we’re experiencing a period of dramatic growth at Zoo Atlanta, and this is a trend we hope will become the norm,” said Raymond King, President and CEO.