Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium had its second-highest attendance year in 2013 with more than 1.6 million visits.
That number is second only to 2012, which saw 1.7 million visits.
Zoo officials partly credit customer upgrades. They include a digital video board atop the ticket redemption gate, a new entrance sign, an expanded gift shop, 1,000 new parking spaces and a new bus drop-off area.
At least 270,000 people visited the temporary exhibit “Dinosaurs Alive! The Lost Valley” between April and October.
During the year, the zoo's education department offered 955 programs such as classes for schools and for the public, day camps and campouts, family programming, Scout classes and outreach programs.
Zoo births — lion cubs, fossa pups, a pygmy hippo and penguin chicks — and the year's mostly pleasant weather helped bring people to the zoo. And it didn't hurt that the TripAdvisor website ranked the zoo as No. 1 in the country.