POWELL, Ohio – The rain didn’t stop 1,984,200 guests from visiting the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in 2011, nor did it keep 373,241 swimmers from splashing through Zoombezi Bay. Thanks to the support of the Central Ohio community, the Columbus Zoo attained its second highest annual attendance in what was the rainiest year on record.
“We are honored to have hosted so many guests from our community and across the U.S. at the Columbus Zoo and Zoombezi Bay this year” said Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President and CEO Dale Schmidt. “We strive to provide a safe and friendly environment where families can visit, learn and create memories.”
While Mother Nature took her toll during spring and summer months, warm winter temperatures attributed to a record breaking year for Wildlights attendance. The 24th annual Wildlights display, efficiently powered by gridSMART from AEP Ohio, drew 351,341 visitors from Nov. 18, 2011 to Jan. 1, 2012.
Those who missed the fun of 2011 can visit now though February 29 and take advantage of half price general admission. Admission rates during this time period are $7 for general admission, $4.50 for children ages two to nine, and $5 for senior citizens age 60 and over.
On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Jan. 16) and President’s Day (Feb. 20) admission will be free for everyone.
Guests who are concerned about the cold temperatures can warm up at Discovery Reef and Manatee Coast, say G’Day to animals from down under inside Bob & Evelyn’s Roadhouse, meet the gorillas in the African Forest, slither through the reptile building and explore Asia Quest. Many animals thrive in the cold weather including polar bears Aurora and Anana who can be seen swimming year round in pool water maintained with geothermal energy at a comfortable 40-65 degrees.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is open every day through February from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is home to more than 9,000 animals representing 675 species and provides more than $1 million annually to support over 70 conservation projects worldwide. A recreational and education destination that includes the 22-acre Zoombezi Bay water park and 18-hole Safari Golf Club, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium hosts more than two million visitors annually and was named the #1 Zoo in America by USA Travel Guide. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Columbus Zoo has earned Charity Navigator’s prestigious 4-star rating. For more information and to purchase advance Zoo admission tickets, visit www.columbuszoo.org.