ASHEBORO-Attendance marks continued to crack like Easter eggs under an elephant's foot at the North Carolina Zoo Monday as the state zoo set a new daily visitor record for the third time over the four-day Easter holiday period.

Easter Monday's total of 7,392 visitors shattered the previous mark of 6,300 set on Easter Monday of 1998. Easter records of 12,765 patrons on Good Friday and 11,913 on Saturday combined with a strong Sunday total of 4,440 to push the four-day 2010 holiday visitor total to 36,510. That's more than 7,250 visitors above the previous Easter four-day mark of 29,256 set in 1995. Rounding out the top-five Easter totals for the zoo were 27,654 visitors during the four-day period in 2007; 25,572 in 2009; and 24060 in 1998.

Zoo officials credit the record attendance to a variety of factors, including the idyllic weather of recent days that has provided the first break from an exceptionally cold winter, an economy that continues to keep holiday travelers closer to home and increased marketing of several new attractions at the park.

The zoo is located on Zoo Parkway (N.C. 159) six miles southeast of Asheboro off U.S. 220 and U.S. 64. Hours from April through October are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $10 for adults, $6 for children 2-12 and $8 for senior citizens 62-plus and college students. For information, call 1-800-4888-0444 or visit the zoo Web site at

The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Dee A. Freeman, Secretary; Beverly E. Perdue, Governor.