Mill Mountain Zoo sees lower attendance this month - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Mill Mountain Zoo sees lower attendance this month

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Freezing cold temperatures have caused fewer people to visit Mill Mountain Zoo recently.

Close to 650 less people have come to see the animals this month, compared to January of last year.

The electric bill for the last two months has also skyrocketed to $6,500 dollars. That's about triple what it pays in a normal two-month span.

The zoo's Executive Director, Ray Correia, says the weather has been a main factor in those numbers.

He says, "Weather does effect the zoo in many, many ways and this cold snap has been unusually cold. It has really effected us. We have lost money for sure".

The zoo has made about $3,000 less this January then it did last year.

The drop in numbers has Correia and his staff working on ways to bring more people in year round.

They are considering bringing in new animals that are indigenous to the area like bears and foxes. Those animals cost less to shelter during the winter as they can stay outside.

Correia also feels bringing in new exhibits will help draw people in.

The zoo is planning to welcome back prairie dogs in a newly designed exhibit this spring.

There are also talks of creating an indoor aviary but that's very early in the planning phases.

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