Akron Zoo sees record crowds in first month since the opening of the Mike & Mary Stark Grizzly Ridge exhibit

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AKRON, Ohio – The bears have been all the buzz at the Akron Zoo. Since the Mike and Mary Stark Grizzly Ridge exhibit opened on July 20, 2013, over 109,000 people have visited the new exhibit in the first month. That is 69,000 people, a 59% increase, more than last year during the same time frame.

On July 24, 6,304 people visited making it the largest single attended day in the zoo’s history. In addition to Grizzly Ridge being opened, on the record setting day, the zoo partnered with Akron Public Schools for Backpack Adventure and kids were able to get school supplies at the zoo that day. Eight of the zoo’s top ten attended days in their 60-year history have taken place since the new exhibit has opened. The zoo has had 19 days in the first month with over 3,000 people visiting. In comparison the zoo had 12 days with 3,000 or more visitors in all of 2012.

“We are just thrilled that our community is enjoying the new expansion at the zoo,” commented L. Patricia Simmons, President & CEO of the Akron Zoo. “This exhibit is one they have asked for, and with their support, we were able to build. It is just great to see them reap the benefits of their support for the zoo.”

 

The new exhibit features grizzly bears, river otters, red wolves, bald eagles and a walk-in aviary. Coyotes are expected to be on exhibit this fall as part of the new expansion. One of the most popular spots in Grizzly Ridge has been the otter slide, which is a fully enclosed acrylic tube that goes through the otter exhibit.

“Grizzly Ridge is a fun and interactive space for visitors, a recreated natural habitat for animals like grizzly bears and bald eagles and a place where kids of all ages come learn about endangered species like red wolves,” added Simmons. “It has been wonderful to see kids get nose-to-nose with the otters in the slide. We hope it provides families memories for years to come.”

The Akron Zoo is open 361 days a year. Zoo hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and admission is $10 for adults, $8.50 for senior citizens, $7 for children (ages 2-14). Children under two are free and parking is $2.00. For more information visit http://www.akronzoo.org or call (330) 375-2550.

Founded in 1953, the Akron Zoo is a non-profit, world conservation Zoo with over 700 animals from around the world. Located just west of Downtown Akron, the Zoo strives to provide a dynamic, financially responsible, guest centered animal experience that is energized by innovation and fun. The Akron Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats.

Submitted by:
David Barnhardt
Director of Marketing & Guest Services
Ph – (330) 375-2550 ext. 7238
dmbarnhardt@akronzoo.org

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