MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Zoo Miami officials are celebrating the highest attendance in the history of the park as they also welcomed some very special guests.
The zoo announced Monday that in the past fiscal year, more than 840,000 people visited the park. That’s 10,000 more people than the peak in the late 80s.
The zoo is now the highest attended paid attraction in South Florida.
Zoo Miami spokesperson Ron Magill said the zoo has worked tirelessly to restore the zoo to it’s grandeur before Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992. After the devastating storm, annual attendance plummeted to below 317,000 people.
Magill says the zoo plans on welcoming more animal lovers in the coming year, with million dollar improvements like a new amphitheater, new state-of-the-art playground, and new food center all in the works.
In addition to celebrating attendance, the zoo welcomed two very rare clouded leopard cubs.
The as yet unnamed 7 month old male and 5 month old female arrived over the weekend and are being temporarily housed at the zoo’s quarantine facility.
The male was born at the Smithsonian’s Conservation and Research Center in Virginia and the female was born at the Nashville Zoo in Tennessee.
Clouded leopards are native to forests within Southern China, Taiwan, and Malaysia. Adults grow to be about 25-30 pounds and have a very long tail, relatively short legs, and large paws to facilitate their arboreal lifestyle.