Gulf Breeze Zoo

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Gulf Breeze Zoo
Date opened

16 February 1978 (as The Zoo Northwest Florida)

18 February 2010 (as Gulf Breeze Zoo)[1]
Location Gulf Breeze, Florida, USA
Coordinates 30°24′04″N 86°59′22″W / 30.40121°N 86.98956°W / 30.40121; -86.98956Coordinates: 30°24′04″N 86°59′22″W / 30.40121°N 86.98956°W / 30.40121; -86.98956
Land area 50 acres (20 ha)[2]
Major exhibits train ride

The Gulf Breeze Zoo (originally The Zoo Northwest Florida) is a 50-acre (20 ha) zoo located in Gulf Breeze, Florida.


Plagued by financial troubles since Hurricane Ivan struck the area in 2004, the zoo closed on 17 August 2009, awaiting the decisions from the governments of Escambia and Santa Rosa counties to provide $125,000 each in funding.[3]

On 20 August 2009, zoo officials announced that the closure of the Zoo would be permanent.[3]

The zoo was purchased by Virginia Safari Park of Natural Bridge, Va. in December 2009, and was reopened on 18 February 2010 as Gulf Breeze Zoo.[1][4]


A path through the zoo gardens lets visitors see many animals including Primates, Big Cats, Marsupials, Procyonidae, Tortoises and Birds. It leads to a large petting area, a Giraffe feeding station, and a walk-through Parakeet enclosure. Some other exhibits throughout the park include "Rocky" the Red River Hog, Black Bears, a Flying Fox, Otters, an Alligator and Camels.

Primate Exhibits include Lemurs, Gibbons, Siamangs, Tamarinds, Spider Monkeys, Squirrel Monkeys, Chimps, Gorillas, including baby "Kigali", a Moustached Guenon, and Marmosets.

Big Cats on Display include Cougars, Tigers, a 1 year old Lion, named "Zion", and a Clouded Leopard.

There are many birds throughout the park. Some in exhibits and some roaming the zoo. The birds you can see here are Chickens, Peacocks, Owls, Macaws, Rhea, Emu, Ostriches and many other interesting species of birds.

A raised boardwalk lets visitors see herds of Deer, Antelope, and Emu, as well as African Wild Dogs, Capybara, named "Pigmalion", "Piggy Sue", "Wilburta" and "Lord Piggington", Kudu and Chimps on Chimp Island.[2]

A miniature train takes visitors on a 20-minute guided tour, where they can see Impala, Deer, Antelope, Zebras and White Rhinos roaming in a 30-acre (12 ha) enclosure, and get a close view of Gorillas and Nile Hippos.[2]


  1. ^ a b Leavenworth, Christina (18 February 2010). "Former Northwest Florida Zoo reopens". WALA-TV. Retrieved 21 October 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "Gulf Breeze Zoo". Gulf Breeze Zoo. Retrieved 21 October 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Zoo Northwest Florida closes for good". WALA-TV. 20 August 2009. Retrieved 21 October 2010. 
  4. ^ Barker, Jeff (12 February 2010). "The Zoo Northwest Florida to reopen this month". Freedom Communications. Retrieved 21 October 2010. 

External links[edit]

Official website