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Zoo New England celebrates one million guests in 2021; Breaks all-time attendance record

Zoo New England has extra reason to celebrate this holiday season as it makes history by welcoming more than one million guests in 2021, marking an all-time attendance record for Zoo New England’s Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo.

On November 27, 2021, Zoo New England officially broke the one millionth attendance mark for guest visits in 2021 at Stone Zoo’s ZooLights. The one millionth guest was surprised at ZooLights by Zoo New England staff with the presentation of a lifetime membership to Zoo New England and a $1,000 check generously donated by StonehamBank. In celebration of the milestone, all guests at ZooLights received free hot chocolate that evening to toast the occasion.

“We are thrilled to welcome the one millionth visitor to our Zoos, and to share our mission and passion for wildlife with more people than ever before,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO. “We are so grateful to all of our visitors and members who have continued to enjoy and benefit from the Zoo experience. It warms our hearts to share the wonders of the natural world with visitors of all ages and to be a part of treasured family memories.”

In addition to the new one millionth guest attendance record, Zoo New England has also set record-breaking membership levels in 2021 with 27,000 member households. On the science and conservation front, the Zoos continue to build upon new and existing partnerships, both locally and worldwide. From bolstering and protecting populations of locally threatened and rare species right here in Massachusetts to work on behalf of Cross-river gorillas in Nigeria, amphibians in Panama and lemurs in Madagascar, Zoo New England continues to work toward its mission of inspiring people to protect and sustain the natural world for future generations.

“The zoos and their many supporters have fueled tremendous growth in recent years by developing engaging new experiences, expanding our impactful conservation work, leading cutting-edge animal health initiatives, and delivering meaningful educational opportunities,” said Colin G. Van Dyke, Zoo New England Board of Directors Chair. “Reaching one million visitors is a milestone for Zoo New England that demonstrates more and more people are connecting to our mission as they recognize the critical importance of preserving wildlife and habitats in order to protect the incredible biodiversity of our planet.”

Zoo New England will continue to have a lot to celebrate in 2022 with exciting new experiences including the spring opening of Gorilla Grove, the new state-of-the-art outdoor gorilla habitat at Franklin Park Zoo. With a mix of real and fabricated trees, a waterfall, climbing vines and a multitude of built-in foraging opportunities, the gorillas will have the ability to traverse the space three dimensionally. From a central observational outpost, guests will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the habitat while they observe the natural behaviors and social dynamics of the gorilla family.