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Warm weather makes for a busy day at The Buffalo Zoo

Posted at 6:33 PM, Feb 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-22 18:38:41-05

It's tail-wagging weather for puppies, and smiling weather for their owners, as they soak up the warm Western New York weather... in February!

"I almost wore shorts... I almost wore shorts!" exclaimed Grace Conlan, as she was leaving The Buffalo Zoo.

A tempting, and unusual thought this time of year, but a thought no one is complaining about, including the very busy Buffalo Zoo.

The zoo telling 7 Eyewitness News they expected up to 5,000 people... but they got more than they bargained for!

"It has been one of the busiest days of the year so far," said Communications Specialist for The Buffalo Zoo, Christian Dobosiewicz.

The zoo says 6,558 people went Wednesday. Grace Conlan was one of them.

"I mean you couldn't get a parking spot," said Conlan. "But it's phenomenal... I'm so glad to see the zoo doing this great!"

Conlan remembers bringing her daughter at a young age to the zoo exhibits, and now she's bringing her grandson. A generation of zoo-lovers, enjoying quite a rare winter in Buffalo.

"It really is great to get out here... and in February! It's amazing!" said Conlan.

She's one of the 20,000 people the zoo has welcomed the past four days. With weather staying warm for the rest of the week, that number will keep growing.

"This is typical weekend days during the summer," said Dobosiewicz. "So it's getting us ready before we were ready... but we're not complaining!"

Neither are Western New Yorkers who say this winter has been a walk in the park... quite literally.

"I just came back from Florida, and to me this is just as nice... although Florida was good," said Conlan, as she laughed away.