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Record visitor numbers for Chester Zoo

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Chester Zoo has confirmed it has welcomed more than 1.4 million so far this year, which is a figure that has surpassed the wildlife attraction's previous record set three years ago.

It is the first time the zoo has broken the 1.4 million visitors mark and has been attributed, in part, to the launch of the Dinosaurs at Large! exhibition on 1 July.

The exhibition comprised 13 animatronic dinosaurs from the US and was one of the largest events to take place at Chester Zoo before drawing to a close in October.

Meanwhile, a Chester Zoo spokesperson also said the opening of a new immersive African-themed exhibit containing African Painted Dogs had contributed to the attraction's appeal.

Revamped restaurants and food outlets and a Which? survey outlining Chester Zoo's value-for-money were also highlighted as reasons for the record-breaking year.

The attraction now aims to build on the success with new developments planned for next year, which include a breeding centre for endangered giant otters and a revamped jaguar house.

Chester Zoo managing director Barbara Smith said: "Never before in the zoo's history have so many people visited us in a calendar year and so we're absolutely delighted.

"The fact that we've had so many visitors in 2011 helps us to do more and more of this good work, which is fantastic."

Image: African Painted Dog exhibit - Rebecca Bullock

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Chester Zoo has confirmed it has welcomed more than 1.4 million so far this year, which is a figure that has surpassed the wildlife attraction's previous record set three years ago.
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