The Calgary Zoo set an all-time attendance record in May 2018, welcoming 190,067 visitors during the month. This smashed the previous record for May of 147,285 set in 2003, when the zoo opened its new Destination Africa zone.
“Panda Passage is off to a great start,” says Lindsey Galloway, Senior Director, Customer Experience and Corporate Services, Calgary Zoo. “We are also selling record numbers of memberships—in fact, we now have more than 90,000 active members. The support from our community is astounding - it makes our critical wildlife conservation work possible.”
To help manage the unprecedented attendance in 2018, the zoo has implemented some new features to help people plan their visit to the zoo. These include online discounts every day to encourage people to purchase in advance and avoid line-ups at the gate. Free timed tickets allow visitors to pick a specific time to see the giant pandas to avoid long line-ups on park. These tickets are available at no cost both online and at the zoo. This summer, the zoo has introduced variable pricing, meaning prices are higher on the weekends and lower on weekdays to encourage people to visit on less busy days. At all times, special deals will be available for tickets purchased online, ranging from $5.00 off per transaction, to $5.00 off per ticket.
Panda Passage opened to the public on May 7, 2018 with Da Mao, Er Shun and her two cubs Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue, inhabiting the space. In 2012, an agreement was signed by the Canadian and Chinese governments to host two giant pandas for a 10-year stay in Canada. For the first five years, the pandas were at the Toronto Zoo and the remaining five years will be spent at the Calgary Zoo.
Media: Interviews available upon request.
Lead, Media Relations, Calgary Zoo