New lion cub could give big boost to zoo numbers

Posted at 12:26 PM, Apr 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-28 08:09:31-04

You could say Western New York now has its very own version of Pride Rock. And that's very good news for the bottom line at the Buffalo Zoo.

The recent birth of a male lion cub is expected to boost already rising attendance numbers at one of the region's top attractions.

In 2013 when polar bear cubs Luna and Kali arrived, attendance jumped by more than one-hundred-thousand people, from 412,000 in 2012 to 513,000 visitors the following year. 

The zoo is seeing another big boost this year. Attendance is up 56 percent compared to the same period last year, thanks in part to the arrival of a new baby gorilla and a milder winter.

Zoo Membership

2011      427,000

2012     412,000

2013     513,000

2014     460,250

2015     487,000

Zoo membership is also showing modest growth, according to Director of Marketing Todd Geise. It ended 2015 with nearly 19,000 membership households, up about a-thousand membership households from 2012-2014.