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.