For the third consecutive year, Dublin Zoo has welcomed over a million visitors, with 1,026,611 passing through the gates in 2013.

Dublin Zoo's Director Leo Oosterweghel said: "We are absolutely thrilled that Dublin Zoo exceeded 1m visitors for a third year running. We would like to thank all friends, sponsors and supporters, old and new, who helped us to achieve such amazing figures."

He continued: "Reaching and exceeding 1m visitors in 2011 and 2012 was fantastic, but to do it for a third year is phenomenal.

"We are extremely proud to be in a position to say that after a decade of continuous investment and development, Dublin Zoo is amongst the best Zoos in the world."

Oosterweghel added: "High footfall is the most important source of revenue to ensure the Zoo can continue to evolve and support infrastructural development.

"Dublin Zoo has transformed into a world-class centre of learning about wildlife and conservation. It is also an integral part of more and more European breeding programmes for endangered species.

"Irish people are proud of their Zoo and families are looking for fun, educational activities to do together and we are delighted to be able to provide a world class experience for families to visit and explore."