Shedd Aquarium: Top attendance in the country - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Shedd Aquarium: Top attendance in the country

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Chicago's own Shedd Aquarium was tops in attendance of any aquarium in the country with almost 2.17 million visitors last year, officials there announced Thursday.

"The entire Shedd Aquarium organization is grateful to our supporters who made us the top-attended aquarium in the country last year, which in turn, allows Shedd to provide world-class care for our 32,500 animals, educate the millions of guests who enter our doors and contribute to conservation research globally," Ted A. Beattie, president and CEO said in a news release.

"Each one of our members, guests, donors, partners and other friends of the aquarium enable us to share our passion for animals and inspire the next generation of environmental stewards."

By its own count, the big attendance numbers funneled $112.7 million in to the local economy.

Shedd Aquarium is among the 11 "Museums In the Park" — a group of museums located on Chicago Park District property. The aquarium represented one-third of the coalition's overall attendance in 2012, according to the museum.

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