Skip Navigation

Wild about Riverbanks

For Immediate Release: September 8, 2011

Zoo Attendance Exceeds One Million Visitors—Again!

[Columbia, SC] — Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is pleased to announce another successful year.

The final count is in, and Riverbanks welcomed 1,000,224 visitors to the park during the 2010-2011 fiscal year that ended on June 30. Budgeted attendance for that time was 953,000.

"Riverbanks’ continued success is largely defined by our ability to provide a quality guest experience at an affordable price,” said Satch Krantz, executive director. "Nearly 40% of our guests are tourists who live 50 miles or more outside of Columbia, and that number alone pumps millions of dollars into Midlands’ communities each year.”

The positive attendance trend at Riverbanks sparked a 14.6% increase in revenue compared to last year. In addition, visitor surveys conducted in the spring boasted Excellent ratings in overall customer satisfaction for the Zoo and Garden. Visitor satisfaction also exceeded the zoo industry’s national benchmarks in other areas including entertainment, employee courtesy, food and gift shop courtesy, educational experience and admission value.

Highlights of the year included the births of two flamingo chicks, a giraffe, a baboon, a koala and a spectacled owlet. Riverbanks also welcomed a new species of animal to its collection during that time—a rare, tusked pig known as a babirusa.

Last fall, Riverbanks was once again recognized as a leader in wildlife conservation, receiving the prestigious Edward H. Bean Significant Achievement Award from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums for important efforts in the long-term propagation and conservation of black-footed cats.

Riverbanks looks to build on its successes—with plans in the works for some exciting new "things to Zoo” in spring/summer 2012.