ASHEBORO-On the heels of the largest Easter weekend Saturday attendance in park history, the North Carolina Zoo set another visitor mark this past weekend with two of the largest single-day crowds in 15 years.

A total of 12,701 people passed through the zoo turnstiles Saturday, April 18, the largest single-day attendance since Labor Day Saturday 1994, when 15,041 guests came to see the just-opened North America exhibit region. The day before, on Friday, April 17, some 9,475 zoo visitors helped establish one of the largest non-holiday weekday attendance marks in park history.

Last Saturday's attendance total came exactly one week after an Easter Saturday record of 10,681 visited the zoo on April 11. Zoo officials credit the idyllic weekend weather, along with the number of students out for spring break, increased marketing of several new attractions at the park and an economy keeping travelers closer to home.

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 September 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.