City deparment announces zoo attendance ‘finally starting to come back’ 

During the first two months of the year the San Francisco Zoo had more visitors than staff anticipated despite a consistent decline in attendance since 2007.

Even though there were seven rainy-day closures in February, the animals entertained 46,237 visitors versus the budgeted 39,000 expected. January documents show they exceeded estimated attendance by 10,790 visitors.

Zoo spokeswoman Lora LaMarca said today that attendance is “finally starting to come back.” However, she also said “this month ... I can’t say it’s going swimmingly.”

Summertime is usually the biggest moneymaking season for the zoo. The upcoming months could help reverse the financial decline of the last four years.

By the numbers

1.1 million: Number of visitors in 2007
965,000: Number of visitors in 2008
896,859: Number of visitors in 2009
865,000: Number of visitors estimated for 2010

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Kamala Kelkar

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