Thanks to the support of animal lovers throughout the Tri-State, the Cincinnati Zoo welcomed 1.3 million guests last year. Which, according to our records, is the most visitors in any single year except for 1988, when we brought a giant panda in from the London Zoo.
We now have more members of the Cincinnati Zoo, and therefore more repeat visitors, than ever before. This gives us the opportunity to make sure we continue to offer programs and experiences throughout the year that Tri-State families value.
In 2010 the vast improvements to our Komodo Dragon exhibit, Children’s Zoo, and Manatee Springs facility were all big hits with our guests. Now, in 2011 we will open the new Night Hunters exhibit, along with a cougar exhibit, complete with its expanded keeper encounters.
And we are working hard to reach our $14 million goal which will allow us over the next couple of years to complete the new African Savannah exhibit, the largest exhibit in the history of the Cincinnati Zoo.
These are not small signs of success, particularly in a year with much tougher weather than in recent years.
It means we are living up to our promise of “More Animals. More Fun!”
And to the overarching objective laid out in the Cincinnati Zoo strategic plan: “TO INSPIRE EVERY VISITOR WITH WILDLIFE, EVERY DAY.” And of course, it’s not lost on me that all this takes a tremendous amount of passion for wildlife and positive energy with our guests.
Thanks to the entire Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden staff, Board of Trustees, and volunteers for that.
And thank you, every one, for making this zoo an over-achieving, Cincinnati-style success.