Gulf Breeze Zoo

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Gulf Breeze Zoo
Date opened16 February 1978 (as The Zoo Northwest Florida)
18 February 2010 (as Gulf Breeze Zoo)[1]
LocationGulf Breeze, Florida, United States
Coordinates30°24′04″N 86°59′04″W / 30.401141°N 86.984391°W / 30.401141; -86.984391Coordinates: 30°24′04″N 86°59′04″W / 30.401141°N 86.984391°W / 30.401141; -86.984391
Land area50 acres (20 ha)[2]
Major exhibitstrain ride

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


In 2004 Hurricane Ivan struck the area with devastating effect to the Zoo. The zoo closed temporarily on August 17, 2009, awaiting the decisions from the governments of Escambia and Santa Rosa counties to provide $125,000 each in funding.[3]

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

In December 2009, the zoo was purchased and rescued a team of zoological professionals from Virginia Safari Park of Natural Bridge, Virginia. The Zoo was renovated and reopened on February 18, 2010, as Gulf Breeze Zoo.[1][4]

On January 20, 2018 the first baby White Rhino was born at Gulf Breeze Zoo.[5] The first ever rhino calf to be born in its 34-year history.


The Gulf Breeze Zoo is divided into 20 acres of walking exhibits and a 30 acres free roaming preserve area that guests take a guided train ride through. The walking portion includes many animals including primates, lions, tigers, marsupials, bears, tortoises, and a large variety of exotic birds such peacocks, owls, macaws, rhea, emu, ostriches, toucan, flamingos and storks. The Zoo has several interactive feeding areas including a large petting area, a giraffe feeding area, and a walk-through parakeet enclosure. Other highlighted exhibits throughout the park include red river hogs, otters, alligators, and camels. Primate exhibits include lemurs, gibbons, guenons, siamangs, golden headed lion tamarins, spider monkeys, squirrel monkeys, chimpanzees, Western lowland gorillas, and marmosets.

Another unique area of the walking portion of the Zoo includes a large raised boardwalk that allows visitors see herds of deer, antelope, capybara, kudu, rhino and the Gorilla Islands.[6]

A C.P. Huntington locomotive train takes visitors on a 20-minute guided tour, where they can see many different types of deer, antelope, zebras, and white rhinos roaming in a 30-acre (12 ha) 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 "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.
  5. ^ "Baby white rhino, Katana, is first ever born at Gulf Breeze Zoo". Pensacola News Journal. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  6. ^ "Visit the Gulf Breeze Zoo | Gulf Breeze, Florida". Retrieved 2018-03-07.

External links[edit]

Official website