New Year Celebration

Zoo News

Back to news listing

New Year Celebration

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

The economic situation may look bleak, the weather may be cold and grey – but there was some cheer to be had here in Dublin Zoo this week as we kicked off the New Year with two good reasons to celebrate. Record visitor numbers for 2008 and the first birth of the year - a giraffe calf born on January 4th.

No less than 931,866 visitors walked through the gates in 2008, which is the highest footfall in the Zoo’s history. These record visitor numbers represent an increase of 30,000 on the previous year – despite one of the wettest summers on record.  The 2008 record figures positions Dublin Zoo in the top three visitor attractions in Ireland.

 Leo Oosterweghel, Director of Dublin Zoo said, “We are delighted with our record numbers. We had a spectacular year and our visitors voted with their feet and helped us to break a record that a few years ago we would have thought impossible. The continued hard work and dedication from all the team here has made the Zoo one of the top visitor attractions in Ireland. 2009 is already off to a fantastic start with the arrival of our new female giraffe and we look forward to welcoming our visitors to what we know will be another exciting year ahead.”

The 2008 results were helped by Dublin Zoo’s much-reported ‘baby boom’.  Visitors flocked to see the new arrivals, which were the result of years of dedicated and careful planning by the zoo team to ensure successful breeding outcomes of many endangered species.

Some of the major highlights in 2008 included the birth of the first ever bull elephant in Ireland, Budi, the arrival of Zukiszwa the  southern white rhinoceros calf born in May, Sandsteen the giraffe who was born in June, closely followed by the birth of a Californian sealion. Other draws in 2008 included the hatching of four Chilean flamingos, three maras, two yellow backed chattering lories, six kune kune piglets, a leopard tortoise, a South American tapir and a pony!

Entries are pouring in from people eager to give a name to Dublin Zoo’s first arrival of 2009.
 The leggy arrival, a female giraffe, was introduced to the rest of the herd – and the public for the first time a few days after her birth. The calf was born to mother Jenny on Sunday 4th January and is doing well. She managed to stand within 40 minutes of her birth and has been suckling well ever since.  See our home page for more details on the competition.

Contact Us