Asheboro, NC - The North Carolina Zoological Society today announced the receipt of the largest single gift in its 44-year history.

The late Dr. Addison G. Mangum of Albemarle, N.C., has bequeathed his entire estate, valued at well in excess of $3 million, to the Society, the non-profit support organization for the North Carolina Zoo. No restrictions were placed on use of the funds.

"While Dr. Mangum required nothing of the Zoo or Society for his wonderful bequest, we are planning, with his executor, permanent recognition at the zoo befitting this special generosity," said Cheryl Turner, interim executive director of the Society. "The executor reports that Dr. Mangum made his gift to North Carolina, but especially to people of all ages and backgrounds."

The Zoo Society first learned in 1994 that it was included in the will of an anonymous individual living in Albemarle. But Society officials had no idea as to the size of the planned gift. Dr. Mangum, a successful radiologist, died in April of this year and had updated his will in May of 2011.

It is the Zoo Society's practice to place unrestricted bequests in its "Lions Pride Fund," a quasi-endowment which generates earnings toward meeting the N.C. Zoo's ongoing needs, but which can provide principal in times of great need.

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