(KOIN) – More than 1.67 million people paid a visit to the Oregon Zoo last year, the highest number in its 125-year history.
The zoo reported Tuesday that it has not tabulated its final attendance number for the fiscal year ending June 30, but estimates it to be approximately 1.68 million. That breaks the previous record of 1.63 million set in 2009-10. Last year saw 1.59 million visitors.
The zoo said that it saw monthly records in December and March with 219,000 and 160,000 visitors respectively. It expects to draw nearly 500,000 visitors in July and August.
"People in this region have a deeper connection to animals than anyplace I've seen," said Zoo Director Kim Smith in a statement. "They share our vision of creating a better future for wildlife and it shows. The outpouring of support in recent years seems to have reached a whole new level."
The Oregon Zoo expects to unveil two new habitats over the next couple years. Condors of the Columbia, set to open next year, will provide a look at the challenge facing the endangered California condor. The 6.25-acre Elephant Lands, scheduled to open in 2015, will provide a new home for the zoo's Asian elephant herd.
Though some events, like the Christmas boats on the Willamette River, were canceled because of the cold, many people took advantage of other outdoor activities in the metro area on Friday night.
Friday brought a blast of snow and frigid air across Oregon.This is how it played out throughout the day.
All over Salem and parts of Marion County, road conditions were still hazardous Friday night with even the main roads coated with a layer of ice and snow.
A Marion County deputy and the man he was chasing were both wounded by gunfire in a Christmas tree field in Silverton Friday afternoon.