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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 January 2006, 16:25 GMT
Park celebrates birthday success
Red pandas at Curraghs Wildlife Park
The red pandas proved a big draw for visitors
One of the Isle of Man's top tourist attractions had one of its most successful years during its 40th birthday celebrations, figures show.

More than 56,000 people went through the gates at Curraghs Wildlife Park in 2005 - the second best year on record.

The park's record-breaking year was in 2003 when good weather and the arrival of its red pandas boosted numbers.

Eddie Lowey, of the Department of Tourism, paid tribute to the hard work of staff for the park's success.

He said he had received a number of "very favourable reports" from visitors in the past year.

Detailed visitor records began in 1993 and in the past 20 years the number of season ticket visitors has risen by 50%.

The number of school visitors has more than doubled, from 1,398 to 3,136, while overall visitor numbers have risen by 25%.

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