published on January 10, 2017 - 7:12 AM
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It was another record-breaking year for the Fresno Chaffee Zoo.


Zoo officials announced today that 2016 was the seventh in a row the zoo has broken its annual attendance record with a total of 964,091 visitors. The record number of guests is a 19-percent increase from 808,914 visitors in 2015, making the jump between 2015 and 2016 the largest annual attendance increase in the zoo’s history.

The largest monthly increase was in February 2016, when 87,878 guests visited the zoo — a 100-percent increase from February 2015’s attendance of 43,943.

The Fresno Chaffee Zoo also enjoyed a 10-percent increase in annual memberships in 2016, finishing the year with 18,856 household memberships.

Executive Director Scott Barton said he is overjoyed with the outcome and credits much of the increase to the new African Adventure expansion and the community’s continued support through Measure Z.

Barton said he expects attendance numbers to continue climbing steadily with more expansion projects ahead.

“We have a number of upcoming projects,” Barton said in a statement. “The soonest will be an expansion of Dino Dig and a children’s water play area. After that, we will start working on two large projects—an Asian exhibit which will feature new and expanded spaces for Malayan tigers and sloth bears, followed by phase 2 of African Adventure, which will bring hippos and crocodiles to Fresno.”

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