11 July 2018

New figures have revealed the zoo reached the milestone two days ahead of its previous record on 12 July, which was first set in 2016.

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, The Oakfield – 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.