07 11/07/2018

Chester Zoo reaches one million visitors in record time

Chester Zoo has attracted one million visitors so far in 2018 – the earliest it has achieved the landmark in its history.

  • New figures reveal zoo has reached visitor milestone earlier than ever before
  • Zoo bosses thank visitors for helping prevent extinction of species worldwide
New figures have revealed the zoo reached the milestone on 12 July, two days ahead of its previous record which was set in 2016.

A million visitors have flocked to Chester Zoo so far in 2018

Bosses believe the zoo’s success stems from its continual evolution as a visitor attraction and because visitors are keen to be part of its mission to prevent extinction around the world.


Dr Mark Pilgrim, the zoo’s Chief Executive Officer, said:

Chester Zoo supports over 85 conservation projects that are fighting to prevent extinction in 30 countries worldwide and we feel this is a big reason people are coming to see us in such numbers. Our visitors are very much aware that we’re a globally renowned conservation and education charity and that, by visiting, they’re helping to fund the vital work we’re doing to act for wildlife both here in Chester and around the globe. We couldn’t do the work we do without them and we really do thank them for their support.

We’re also acutely aware that people are always looking for new experiences. That’s why the zoo is constantly changing and improving. Chester Zoo is already recognised as one of the top three zoos in the world, but we have very ambitious future plans to ensure we get better and better.

Having this year already unveiled a state-of-the-art new Penguin Island, new playgrounds for families, a major garden festival called Wild Worlds, and a new habitat for tree kangaroos - an unusual Indonesian marsupial - a host of other developments for visitors are also set to open soon. This includes the transformation of a building at the heart of Chester Zoo’s history, Oakfield House - the inspirational home of the zoo’s founder George Mottershead – into a gastro pub with stunning garden room.


Work is also well underway on an immersive walk-through Madagascan forest habitat, designed to get visitors closer than ever before to the zoo’s group of lemurs. 

Further afield, a huge new grasslands zone inspired by a variety of African habitats – from scrublands to deserts – will be created in the coming years. It will feature a whole host of species including giraffes, zebras and ostrich.

The plans will reaffirm the zoo’s position as one of the world’s best conservation, animal and leisure attractions.


Notes to editors           

Chester Zoo

  • Chester Zoo (www.chesterzoo.org) is a registered conservation and education charity that supports projects around the world and closer to home in Cheshire. Welcoming 1.9 million visitors a year, it is the most visited zoo in the UK; home to over 21,000 animals and more than 500 different species, many of which are endangered in the wild
  • Chester Zoo is the UK’s most visited tourist attraction outside London, according to the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA)
  • Through its wildlife conservation campaign, Act for Wildlife, the zoo is helping to save highly threatened species around the world from extinction. Find out more at www.actforwildlife.org.uk
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