Attendance up at Toledo Zoo, Wild Walkabout comes to end - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Attendance up at Toledo Zoo, Wild Walkabout comes to end

Baru, the crocodile Baru, the crocodile
TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Every summer is different for the Toledo Zoo, which is at the mercy of Mother Nature, but it's been a busy season this year.

Kristie Schaedler and her daughter Jessica bought a family zoo membership recently. They say the Wild Walkabout is probably their favorite part of the zoo this year.

"We've been here many times," Schaedler said. "It's nice to see something different."

The walkabout features animals from Australia, including 12 wallabies.

Attendance numbers for the zoo from May 24 to Aug. 25 of 2012 show 379,630 visitors. During the same time this year, there were 418,497.

Andi Norman, with the zoo, says the wallabies and 17-foot-long salt water crocodile Baru have a lot to do with the increase.

"We always try to change things here at the Toledo Zoo, keep things fresh, renovate exhibits, bring in new animals that people haven't seen before," Norman said. "Hopefully people see that and they continue to visit."

The weather has also helped. Many cooler days this summer have encouraged people to get outside.

The Wild Walkabout exhibit will end on Labor Day, and the wallabies will head back to their private owner in Indiana. Baru, however, will stay permanently.

The zoo is planning an expanded penguin exhibit for next year, and the aquarium renovation will be completed in 2015.

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