BALTIMORE — For the second year in a row The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore hosted more than 400,000 visitors. The Zoo is celebrating a successful end to Fiscal Year 2013 with a total count of 400,162 visitors. “We are thrilled to go over the 400,000 mark again, as well as seeing growth in other areas such as membership, event attendance and off-grounds educational outreach,” stated Don Hutchinson, president/CEO of the Zoo. “Despite the inclement summer weather of July and August 2012, we are very pleased with our overall growth in FY 13.”
The Zoo also broke a number of internal goals in several departments. The Membership Department, as well as the Education Outreach program, exceeded goals in FY13 for the second consecutive year. “Visitors clearly see the value in becoming a Zoo member with many guests buying memberships at the end of their visit,” continued Hutchinson. “In addition to family memberships, many business and community partners have been supporting the Zoo through corporate memberships and sponsorships, an area that has also seen growth over the years.”
Other highlights from the year ending June 30, 2013:
- The Zoo was accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) during the annual meeting of the Accreditation Commission in September 2012. AZA accreditation is a mark of excellence and an added assurance to our visitors that they are supporting an institution dedicated to providing excellent care for animals and a great guest experience.
- Many Zoo events saw an increase in attendees, including the biggest fundraiser of the year, Brew at the Zoo, which sold out on both days with a total attendance of 8,786, a new record for the event. Each of the 15 events in the “Breakfast with the Animals” series sold out in advance.
- The Group Sales team exceeded budget for the fifth year in a row. Renovations to the Mansion House Porch opened up availability to include the summer months, and the creation of corporate day meeting packages optimized weekday rentals.
- The Zoo admitted 88,348 Maryland students, teachers and chaperones on school field trips in FY 2013. Of those, 76,018 visitors were admitted without charge as part of the Free Admission Program for Maryland Schools which is supported by the state and funded through the Maryland State Department of Education.
- Education Outreach programs and events, including the ever-popular ZOOmobile visits, delivered a record 878 programs to 44,841 people in fifteen Maryland counties, and Baltimore City, as well as Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, DC. This compares to 835 programs the prior year.
- The Zoos’ 876 volunteers donated 37,437 hours of time to the Zoo, with a payroll extension value of $862,854.
There were several notable animal births, including:
- A female baby colobus monkey in early March 2013 — the second offspring for the Zoo’s colobus pair;
- A male baby Coquerel’s sifaka born in March 2013 — the third male for the Zoo’s sifaka pair;
- Four common warthog piglets in June 2013.
“As a non-profit, we always strive to increase revenue each year to support our operating budget. While there are always challenges, I am confident in our team and their ability to seek, as well as create new opportunities for growth,” said Hutchinson. “Currently we are in the midst of constructing our new penguin habitat, the most complex project the Zoo has undertaken since I began here in 2008. Not only do we look forward to growing our penguin colony, but also the opportunity to enhance the visitor experience for all. This will be a game-changer for The Maryland Zoo, our visitors and the community.”