Flamingos, 'Mo' help Ore. Zoo draw 1.6M visits

Flamingos, 'Mo' help Ore. Zoo draw 1.6M visits

Flamingos in the Lagoon Habitat at the Oregon Zoo. © Oregon Zoo / photo by Michael Durham

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by Jeff Thompson, KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on January 8, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 8 at 12:47 PM

PORTLAND -- The Oregon Zoo nearly set a record in 2013 with 1,625,296 visits, just shy of the 1,645,843 visits in 2010.

Summer was the busiest season, but spokesman Hova Najarian said Wednesday that spring of last year also drew huge crowds.

"The zoo shattered its attendance record for March, when nearly 160,000 people showed up to see new arrivals that included a flock of pink flamingos, a baby De Brazza’s monkey and a river otter pup just learning to swim," Najarian said.

Najarian said the zoo broke records for its annual Rabbit Romp, for Easter Sunday and for the whole spring break period.

Video: Ore. Zoo otter 'Mo' gets swimming lesson from mom

“Every person who walks through our gates represents an opportunity to make positive change, whether through education or the surcharges that directly support conservation in the Pacific Northwest and globally,” zoo director Kim Smith added.

She said the high attendance numbers will help support conservation, education and animal welfare programs, including species recovery efforts for several endangered animals.

The zoo and the Washington Park area will also benefit from new parking rules that go into place starting Friday, which will raise fund for "a new, park-wide master plan," said Portland Parks and Recreation spokesman Mark Ross.

Related:  New zoo parking fees take effect Friday

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