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NC Zoo breaks attendance record over Memorial Day weekend

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A crowd at North Carolina Zoo’s Junction Plaza during the Memorial Day weekend. (Photo credit: Tom Gillespie)

ASHEBORO, N.C. — The North Carolina Zoo set a new attendance record over Memorial Day weekend, with a three-day total of 37,165 visitors, according to officials.

Zoo officials said nearly 5,000 more people attended last weekend than the previous record of 32,732 in May 2008.

The zoo said in a statement that the daily totals were 14,015 on Saturday, 12,277 on Sunday and 10,873 on Monday.

Officials said the high attendance was spurred by idyllic weather, the return of a polar bear and a highly-popular dinosaur exhibit.

Aquila, one of the zoo’s two polar bears, returned to his exhibit May 15 after a two-year sabbatical at the Detroit Zoo.