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Virginia Zoo records record attendance in '11

Friday - 1/20/2012, 9:07am  ET

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - More than a half-million visitors came to the Virginia Zoo last year, a record for the Norfolk attraction.

Total attendance topped out at 505,641 in 2011, a 23 percent increase from the previous year.

The zoo's executive director, Greg Bockheim, said the zoo saw a 5.5-acre expansion last April, adding nearly 30 new animals. They include Malayan tigers, orangutans, and Asian small-clawed otters.

This year, Bockheim said the zoo's goals include fundraising for a new veterinary hospital and an animal "wellness" campus. He said they also plan to bring in some new animals.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)