Zoo Season Marked More Than 508,000 Guests, Closing Weekend Nears

By Emma Koch - 21Alive

Zoo Season Marked More Than 508,000 Guests, Closing Weekend Nears

October 9, 2013 Updated Oct 9, 2013 at 11:21 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) -- Zoo fans will see Bill the lion, Jelani the giraffe, and many other zoo animals for the last time this year when the zoo closes for the 2013 season on Sunday, October 13.

As of Wednesday morning, more than 508,000 guests had visited the zoo so far in 2013.

On Saturday, October 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the zoo will celebrate African Penguin Awareness Day, an international event drawing attention to the plight of these threatened birds. Zoo guests can talk with zoo keepers and participate in special activities. Guests can enter to win a painting created by one of the zoo’s penguins.

In the wild, African penguins are threatened by oil spills, declining habitat, and a diminishing food supply in their native home on the South African coast.

After the zoo closes on Sunday, crews will begin preparing for the Wild Zoo Halloween, which opens Friday, October 18 at 1 p.m.. Only the Central Zoo and the Australian Adventure are open during this event.

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