ASHEBORO, NC – 2016 brought 797,159 guests to the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, marking the third largest calendar year attendance in Zoo history.

Only 1994 and 1995, when the North America region first opened to the public, saw higher numbers.

Pat Simmons, North Carolina Zoo director said, “We are deeply grateful to all those who came to see us in 2016! The citizens of North Carolina feel great ownership of this wonderful attraction and showed it this year with their visits. Thank you!”

The North Carolina Zoo is the world’s largest zoo, a global conservation leader and one of only two state supported zoos in the United States.     

About the North Carolina Zoo

The North Carolina Zoo provides an experience like no other zoo anywhere. With a five mile trail to varied exhibits, nearly 1,600 animals and 52,000 plants it is the largest natural habitat zoo in the world, an international leader in wildlife conservation providing expert care and animal welfare.

Find yourself surrounded by some of Africa’s giants including elephants, rhinos, and giraffes;  marvel as polar bears Nikita and Anana take polar plunges every day at Rocky Coast; share the love of gorillas with Mosuba and his six-member troop; experience family fun and create forever memories in a place where learning is wild.

Located in center of the state in Asheboro, it is convenient to visit from anywhere in North Carolina. The North Carolina Zoo welcomes nearly 800,000 guests each year. Plan your adventure at


About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources 

The North Carolina Zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. The 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 N.C.  Zoo, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the 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