Officials: NC Zoo temporarily closes from overcrowding - - Columbia, South Carolina

Officials: NC Zoo temporarily closes from overcrowding

(Photo source: NC Zoo's Facebook page) (Photo source: NC Zoo's Facebook page)

What happens when you mix great Spring weather with a holiday off from work? An overcrowded zoo that has to temporarily close because too many people are inside.

That's what happened at the North Carolina Zoo, in Asheboro, on Monday afternoon.

According to zoo officials, it is only the second time in the zoo's history that it had to temporarily close the gates.  The parking lots reached overflow capacity and visitor facilities began to reach capacity.

Officials say by 4 p.m. on Monday, 12,775 had already been inside the park. By mid-afternoon, as visitors began to leave the park, other guests were allowed to enter.

"Spring temperatures in the high 60s and days off for the Easter weekend and spring breaks for students helped swell the park's attendance to one of its busiest days on record," officials said.

The park's one-day attendance record is 17,499 -- a free-admission day in 1994. The park's paid-admission attendance record is 15,041, set in September 1994.

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