Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is celebrating the New Year with the announcement that the Zoo welcomed a record 362,177 guests in 2012, an industry-stunning 11 percent increase over the prior year.
Record-breaking attendance has been the trend at Naples Zoo for the past two decades and this is the third time in a decade that the beloved zoo and botanical garden has experienced double-digit growth.
Naples Zoo has nearly quadrupled its 1990 attendance. During that time, the dedicated board, staff and supporters of the landmark attraction helped the Zoo achieve three national accreditations, convert to a nonprofit charitable organization in 2005, earn prestigious awards, create new habitats, and expand its worldwide conservation efforts.
During the 2012 winter months, seasonal visitors enjoyed their first opportunity to hand feed the giraffe herd. Over the summer, cheetahs returned to the zoo for the first time since the 1970s. The arrival of the world's fastest land mammal set the Zoo's single-day attendance record of 6,541 guests on the Zoo's Collier County resident free day in July.
The nationally accredited zoo is nestled in a 44-acre historic botanical garden founded in 1919 and offers families a full day of wild fun from apes to zebras featuring wildlife shows, cruises and other entertaining and educational programs.