Archive: Detroit Zoo Attendance Tops 1 Million for 11th Year

August 10, 2016

ROYAL OAK, Mich., 

The community said “thanks a million” to the Detroit Zoo for the 11th consecutive year on August 6 when 2016 attendance surpassed 1 million.  The milestone was reached nearly three weeks ahead of last year.

“We appreciate the million-plus visitors who have supported the Detroit Zoo this year, not only with their feet walking our 125 acres but also with their votes on the millage renewal earlier this month,” said Detroit Zoological Society Executive Director and CEO Ron Kagan.

The new Polk Penguin Conservation Center, the largest facility for penguins in the world, is a contributing factor to the strong attendance.  The facility has welcomed more than 735,000 Zoo visitors since it opened April 18, boosting the year’s turnout.

The 33,000-square-foot facility features a 326,000-gallon, 25-foot-deep aquatic area where visitors can watch as more than 80 penguins of four species explore their habitat.  An underwater gallery and two acrylic underwater tunnels provide breathtaking views of the birds as they swim above, around and below.

In 2015, the Detroit Zoo smashed its modern-day attendance record, attracting 1,476,378 visitors.  The previous record, set in 1997, was 1,364,905.  With the opening of the penguin center, the Detroit Zoo is on track to break attendance records again in 2016.