Posted In Events, Visitors | 10th January 2019

Second year of Wild Lights a roaring success as Dublin Zoo visitor numbers increase by 35% from 2017

Dublin Zoo breaks one million visitor mark for the 8th consecutive year

Dublin Zoo’s annual visitor numbers released today reveal that 2018 was another very busy year. Dublin Zoo welcomed 1,230,145 visitors, exceeding the one million mark for the eighth year running. The 2018 visitor number once again confirms Dublin Zoo’s status as Ireland’s most popular family attraction.

2018 saw the return of Wild Lights to Dublin Zoo. Throughout late November, December and early January, 210,235 people attended the hugely popular night-time event which featured an entirely new cast of illuminated silk lanterns, inspired by the wonders of the life aquatic. The 210,235 people who attended Wild Lights in 2018 is a 54,663 person (35%) increase from 2017.

In August 2018, Dublin Zoo opened the doors to the Discovery and Learning Centre – Ireland’s newest state-of-the-art facility for environmental education which includes two classrooms, a lecture theatre and a Discovery Centre. The €3 million Discovery and Learning Centre was officially opened by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins and provides immersive education programmes in biodiversity, wildlife conservation, ecology and zoology for schools and colleges throughout Ireland.

In 2018 Dublin Zoo also welcomed over one hundred new arrivals, including the birth of three California sea lion pups, an Asian elephant calf, two Rothschild giraffe calves, three scimitar-horned oryx calves (a species classified as extinct in the wild), two red-ruffed lemur pups and eleven Chilean flamingo chicks, among others.

Commenting on the year that was, Leo Oosterweghel, Director at Dublin Zoo, said:

“2018 has been a very successful year for all of us here at Dublin Zoo. We were delighted to welcome more new arrivals to Dublin Zoo, including the births of three California sea lion pups, two Rothschild giraffe calves, an Asian elephant calf and three scimitar-horned oryx calves – a species classified as extinct in the wild.

The success of Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo has gone far beyond what we thought possible when it first opened in 2017. In its first year we were delighted to see so many people attend our night time spectacular, but to increase that number by 35% the next year is remarkable.

To break the one million visitor mark for the eight consecutive year is something that I and all the staff at Dublin Zoo are very proud of. A million visitors at Dublin Zoo was a goal deemed unlikely a little over ten years ago, but to have broken that number for the eight year in a row is testament to the improvements we’ve made to our habitats and visitor facilities.

Dublin Zoo is a not-for-profit organisation. We are continuously reinvesting in the Zoo, building world-class habitats that closely reflect the animals’ natural environments and are committed to offering a memorable day out to all our visitors. Dublin Zoo also supports numerous conservation projects in the wild.”