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Baby Gorilla at the Louisville Zoo

Louisville Zoological Garden

Written by Julie Greiner
The Louisville Zoo offers the whole world of animals to its visitors. A visit to the Louisville Zoo is like a vacation adventure. The Zoo is open daily year round, offering four seasons to view over 1,300 exotic animals in beautiful, natural habitats. African and Island exhibits are among the most extensively displayed. By the end of 2002, the total of 12 gorillas will be part of the Gorilla Forest exhibit. The Zoo also includes
a playground, African petting zoo, indoor and outdoor cafes, plus the circa 1919 antique Conservation Carousel, tram and miniature train rides.

The Gorilla Forest

The first chance to catch a glimpse of gorillas comes at an overlook of a 16,500 square foot Mudi Bai, a large clearing of grass occurring in the dense tropical forests of west and central Africa. The lush, tall grass habitats provide food and water to a great variety of wildlife. The bush trail turns to a dried steam-bed leading guests to the Shamba, a small
Gorilla at the Louisville Zoo
African farm. Calabash gourds and sleeping hammocks hang from the support beams, wood-grinding bowls and other cooking utensils are close to the open cooking fireplace. The 9,300 square foot Gorilla Sanctuary displays "gorillas in the ground." One area blends into the other, helping to create the feeling that man and gorilla re within touching distance and the 14 foot tall dense glass makes barriers seem to disappear. There are an estimated 125,000 gorillas among the four subspecies. The Louisville Zoo gorilla troop will be captive-born Western lowland gorillas. The new $15 million, four acre Gorilla Forest opened in May of 2002.

The Pygmy Hippo Exhibit

At the end of a large forest trail, the partially hidden Hippo Falls emerges. A total of 1,300 square foot housing area is dedicated to housing the hippos. Guests
enter a 630 square foot Underwater Hippo viewing structure which provides shade and protection for a comfortable view of the Pygmy hippo's underwater life. The shy, solitary Pygmy hippo is considered "vulnerable" due to hunting and deforestation. The American Zoo and Aquarium Association has developed a Species Survival Plan for the Pygmy hippo. Pygmy hippos weight 400 pounds and are about five feet long and 40-inches high. This compact version of the hippo is adapted for life in the dense forest instead of in water.

Elephant Aerobics at the Louisville Zoo

The daily
Hippo at the Louisville Zoo
Seal Training and Elephant Aerobics demonstrations are among the featured events. The African area is one of the most popular regions of the Zoo. The African Panorama includes exhibits of plains animals with the Masai Giraffes, Harmann's mountain zebras, lions and rhinos. The Outpost Playground and Boma African Petting Zoo provide hands-on activities for children. The African Outpost indoor restaurant offers climate-controlled modern conveniences serving full meals and/or snacks. For information on tours call (502) 459-2181.
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Last Updated: September 23, 2015