Zoos report biggest crowds for eight years
Two Devon zoos have seen huge increases in visitor numbers with one reporting the best August since 2005.
Paignton Zoo turnstiles recorded 14,000 more people in August compared to the same time last year.
Nearly 24,000 people came through the gates last week.
Meanwhile, sister attraction, Torquay's Living Coasts, is up by nearly 10,000 on last year, an improvement on 2012, when 111,000 visitors came.
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The successes come amid predictions that a bumper Bank Holiday weekend will deposit a much-needed £73 million in the coffers of Devon and Cornwall tourist businesses.
Paignton Zoo and Living Coasts spokesman Phil Knowling said: "We have had the best summer for many years, and August has been particularly strong.
"At Living Coasts we have had 11 days with over 1,000 visitors, compared to four last summer and just two in 2011.
"We saw 1,565 visitors on August 14, which made it our busiest single day since late August 2005.
"Visitors are spending more on gifts, a good barometer of the tourist economy.
"It could be down to the weather, a bit more optimism in the economy – or simply that people want what we have to offer."