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      Zoo tops 1 million guests, again

      Photo Credit: FILE

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- For the fourth time in its history, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden reached over 1 million visitors during a fiscal year.

      Zoo officials made the announcement Thursday putting the final tally at 1,000,224 visitors during the 2010-2011 fiscal year which ended June 30.

      Officials say they far exceeded their goal of 953,000 guests.

      Revenue was also up due to the boost in attendance. The zoo saw a 14.6 percent increase over the previous year.

      Riverbanks TM continued success is largely defined by our ability to provide a quality guest experience at an affordable price, said Satch Krantz, executive director. Nearly 40 percent of our guests are tourists who live 50 miles or more outside of Columbia, and that number alone pumps millions of dollars into Midlands TM communities each year.

      The births of two flamingo chicks, a giraffe, a baboon, a koala and a spectacled owlet helped bring in the crowds along with a new rare species added to its collection, a tusked pig known as a babirusa. Read more recent zoo news by clicking here.

      In addition to this and last year's milestones, there were more than a million people attending in 1990 and 2002. The zoo opened in 1974.

      Have you been to the zoo recently? What is your favorite exhibit?