Asheboro, NC - The North Carolina Zoo is excited to announce record attendance for the year 2019. The world’s largest natural habitat zoo saw 917,309 visitors or 85,000 more compared to 2018.

The previous years’ attendance was 831,748 for 2018 and 860,148 for 2017. Attendance was down in 2018 due to factors including record rainfall amounts in North Carolina, and multi-day closings caused by hurricanes Florence and Michael and Winter Storm Diego 2018.

 “We are thrilled to welcome so many guests from North Carolina and around the world to our Zoo,” Zoo Director Pat Simmons said. “We have plans to keep improving our programs and guest experience so that even more people can enjoy the Zoo in the future.”

“The North Carolina Zoo continues to increase visitation year after year by providing outstanding events, programs, and experiences,” said Susi H. Hamilton, secretary of N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. “Congratulations to the Zoo staff for continuing to find new and exciting ways to make the Zoo a destination for North Carolina residents and visitors.”

About the North Carolina Zoo

At the North Carolina Zoo, we celebrate nature. As the world’s largest natural habitat Zoo, we inspire a lifelong curiosity about animals for the hundreds of thousands of people who visit our Zoo each year. Our dedicated team of experts provides exceptional, compassionate care for the more than 1,800 animals and 52,000 plants that call our Park home. We also lead efforts locally and globally to protect wildlife and wild places because we believe nature’s diversity is critical for our collective future. The North Carolina Zoo invites all of our guests to witness the majesty of the wild in the heart of North Carolina and welcomes everyone to join in our mission to protect nature’s diversity. Visit to begin your life-changing journey.

About N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries, and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums, and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the North Carolina Zoo, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call 919- 807-7300 or visit