Saturday, June 22
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North Carolina Zoo welcomes 30 millionth all-time guest

The North Carolina Zoo recently welcomed Maria Ines Perez, who became the 30 millionth guest since the site opened to the public in August 1974. (Photo Courtesy of the North Carolina Zoo)

ASHEBORO — The North Carolina Zoo celebrated a historic milestone this month, welcoming its 30 millionth all-time guest since the site park opened in 1974.

Late last year, the Zoo welcomed their one millionth guest for the year, and those attendance numbers are not letting up. In April of this year, the Zoo recorded a record for single-month attendance with 192,000 guests. Now, the world’s largest natural habitat Zoo is celebrating another attendance milestone by welcoming their 30 millionth all-time guest since the site park opened just shy of 50 years ago.

Maria Ines Perez, the lucky 30 millionth guest, stepped through the North America gates with her family to be greeted with enthusiastic cheers and warm welcomes from Zoo team members eager to celebrate the landmark moment.

“It was a real surprise for us and a great gift for my little ones,” siad Perez who was visiting the Zoo for the first time. “We are grateful to the Zoo team for making it possible, and we are excited to share with friends so they can also experience the North Carolina Zoo!”

Perez and her family received a special gift basket containing a gift shop voucher and lifetime family membership courtesy of the North Carolina Zoo Society, a private animal encounter and complimentary Zoofari experience courtesy of Zoo staff, meal vouchers courtesy of the Zoo’s food service provider (Service Systems Associates, SSA), and assorted North Carolina Zoo memorabilia.

“As we celebrate 50 WILD YEARS at the North Carolina Zoo, we give thanks to those who laid the groundwork for us to evolve into the organization we are today. Reaching 30 million all-time guests is a testament to the profound impact of the North Carolina Zoo on our community and beyond,” said Zoo Director and CEO Patricia Simmons in a press release. “We are incredibly grateful to every guest who enters our gates, as every visit contributes to our conservation efforts locally and around the world. This milestone marks another significant chapter in our story and reminds us of how far we’ve come.”