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Record number of visitors go wild for Dublin Zoo

Dublin Zoo is defying the recession with record numbers visiting in 2010.

Last year 963,053 animal lovers passed through the gates -- up over 100,000 on the previous year -- as people travelled abroad less and spent time visiting home attractions like the zoo.

Last year there were a number of developments there including new births, the re-opening of the family farm as well as a refit of the penguin home.

Zoo executives said a combination of more people holidaying at home and the quality of the zoo led to the higher numbers for 2010.

"People have less disposable income and are staying home and visiting us," said Leo Oosterweghel, director of Dublin Zoo.

"To increase visitor numbers, particularly in a recession, and to break our all time visitor numbers, proves that Dublin Zoo offers a superb visitor experience and provides value for money."

He added that 2011 highlights include the development of a gorilla rainforest, a bull elephant house and more new arrivals.

"Dublin Zoo is now amongst the best zoos in the world and one of Ireland's top visitor attractions," he said.

Irish Independent