Zoo celebrates 2011 visitor record
Dublin Zoo is celebrating a bumper year with a record one million visitors in 2011.
The zoo also welcomed 42 new arrivals in the last 12 months including two baby gorillas, hippo and giraffe calves and two red panda cubs.
Attendance jumped by 36,947, up from the previous record of 963,053 in 2010.
Dublin Zoo director Leo Oosterweghel said he was thrilled that so many people helped them achieve the incredible milestone despite closing during the peak season visits of Britain's Queen Elizabeth and US President Barack Obama.
"I am delighted to be able to say for the second year in a row that the zoo is more popular than ever before," he said.
"Our wonderful success can be attributed to the dedication and hard work of the team at Dublin Zoo, who continuously strive to enhance the habitats and care of all the animals in the zoo while at the same time ensuring that visitors have an unforgettable experience.
"I am extremely proud to be in a position to say that, after a decade of continuous development, Dublin Zoo is now amongst the best zoos in the world and is Ireland's top visitor attraction."
Mr Oosterweghel said that, over the past two decades, the 180-year-old zoo has transformed into a world-class centre of learning about wildlife and conservation which immerses visitors in an unforgettable experience.
"Since the early 1990s, Dublin Zoo has more than doubled in size and many of our animals have wonderful new living conditions," he added.