Nutley family is zoo visitor No. 750,000 for 2015

Prizes awarded to Zuniga family as annual total of visitors continues to grow

Photo Courtesy of Essex County Recognized on Wednesday, Dec. 3, as the 750,000th visitors to Turtle Back Zoo in 2015, a new annual attendance record, are Melissa and Carlos Zuniga, at right, with daughters Gabriella, left, and Arianna, who are joined by, from left, Essex County Parks Director Dan Salvante, Turtle Back Zoo director Brint Spencer and Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr., plus mascots Myrtle the Turtle and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Photo Courtesy of Essex County
Recognized on Wednesday, Dec. 3, as the 750,000th visitors to Turtle Back Zoo in 2015, a new annual attendance record, are Melissa and Carlos Zuniga, at right, with daughters Gabriella, left, and Arianna, who are joined by, from left, Essex County Parks Director Dan Salvante, Turtle Back Zoo director Brint Spencer and Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr., plus mascots Myrtle the Turtle and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

NUTLEY, NJ — Each year, Essex County keeps track of the number of people who visit Turtle Back Zoo in South Mountain Reservation. Each year that number gets bigger, and the county always celebrates when the previous record is broken.

This year, the record-breaking visitors were members of the Zuniga family of Nutley, Melissa and Carlos, and their two daughters, 3-year-old Gabriella and 5-month-old Arianna, who on Wednesday, Dec. 30, were the 750,000 visitors of 2015.

The Zuniga family was presented with a large stuffed bear, a gift basket and a one-year membership to the Zoological Society of New Jersey. Two weeks prior, Turtle Back Zoo’s annual attendance reached 700,000 for the first time, which made it the 11th consecutive year a new attendance record has been set.

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