Cheyenne Mountain Zoo hits record attendance with 607,000 visitors

About 607,000 people visited Cheyenne Mountain Zoo between May 2011 and April of this year. The zoo's open-enclosure exhibits, seen above, are a popular attraction.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo had record-breaking visitor numbers during its 2011/2012 season, which equaled record donations to the zoo’s conservation program.

Zoo officials said that from May 2011 to April this year, 607,000 people visited the zoo – about 33,000 more than the previous year. A large portion of the increase can be attributed to record spring break crowds in March.

About 60 percent of all Cheyenne Mountain Zoo visitors are from the Pikes Peak region, but it’s becoming more popular with out-of-town visitors, too. This month, Trip Advisor, named Cheyenne Mountain Zoo as one of the top 10 zoos in the country.

The zoo gives 25 cents from each ticket sale to its “Quarters for Conservation” program, which contributes annually to selected conservation organizations. Last year, the program contributed $130,000 – about $12,000 more than the previous year.

Guests receive a token at the gate and can designate which program they would like to support, including saving African elephants, black-footed ferrets and Wyoming toads.

Since the program began in 2008, $464,000 has been earmarked for conservation efforts around the world.