Record year as millionth person visits zoo
Dublin Zoo is celebrating a record year in which one million visitors have already passed through its doors.
The mid-term break from school saw families from all over the country visit the zoo in the Phoenix Park yesterday.
Delighted mum Julie O'Mahony from Delgany, Co Wicklow, became the one millionth visitor when she arrived with her family.
They received a hamper of goodies from the zoo gift shop and met zookeepers James Creighton and Brendan Walsh from the elephant care team who took them to the Kaziranga Forest Trail and gave them a private keeper talk.
Dublin Zoo officials said a number of factors had contributed to the record visitor numbers.
"The recent baby boom has helped to attract visitors, with new births in the past few months including a Rothschild giraffe, a Goeldi's monkey and Asian lion cubs," said zoo director Leo Oosterweghel.
"The arrival of three Asian elephant calves was the pinnacle."
The mild and dry weather also attracted visitors.
Mum Jennie McLaughlin (33) was looking forward to seeing the animals with husband John and daughters Lily (7), Mia (3) and baby Aoibhe, who's seven months.
"We haven't been to the zoo since Lily was small," said Jenny, who had travelled from Wexford with her family.
"It's about four years since we've been here. Lily says she wants to see the monkeys and the zebras."