In the Gorilla Sanctuary at the Louisville Zoo, it’s not so much the Gorillas on exhibit as the people. Specially designed panes of glass provide the only separation between a troop of Western Lowlands Gorillas and the humans who come to visit. This four acre forest exhibit is lauded as one the best Gorilla exhibits in the world and has become a model for other zoos both domestically and internationally.
Divided into three distinct habitats, the exhibit is home to 11 Gorillas and 1 Pygmy Hippos. Inside the Sanctuary room, glass surrounds visitors on nearly every side. This allows the Gorillas to move freely and provides visitors with the feeling of stepping directly into the jungles of Rwanda. Far from afraid, the Gorillas seem to enjoy the entertainment and often interact with their human visitors.
Like humans, Gorillas do not have a set time schedule, but they are generally more energetic in the mornings and late afternoon/evening.
When planning your visit, it is good to know that the Louisville Zoo offers single and double stroller rental ($8/$10) in addition to wagons and safari vehicles. They also offer a limited number of motorized and non-motorized wheelchairs for rental ($8/$26), call ahead for availability. The zoo also offers a special ZooTram shuttle with multiple stops along the trail. A $3 fee gets you a wrist band that allows unlimited shuttle rides.
The zoo has three seasonal cafes offering staple foods such as hamburgers, hotdogs and salads. If you are not in the mood for a full meal, stop by one of several locations for a quick snack or ice cream. If you want to save money or are looking for a special dining experience pack a picnic. The zoo allows food and coolers and offers designated picnic areas. But, remember that alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
Be sure to check the Daily Activities schedule to find the times and locations throughout the zoo of special programs and feedings.
While you are at the zoo check out the Polar Bears, African and Asian Elephants, Masai Giraffes, Jaguars, Snow Leopards, African Lions, Orangutans, White Rhinos, and Sumatran and Siberian Tigers, among the zoos more than 1,300 animals.
Ask about special offers and discounts. If you are a member of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) you qualify for a special reciprocal offers including free or discounted general admission. If you are a member of the Louisville Zoo you also qualify for a special discount at the nearby Newport Aquarium in Newport, Kentucky.
Location: 1100 Trevilian Way, Louisville KY 40213
Price: Adults 12 to 59 $13.95 ~ Children 3 to 11 $10.50 ~ Children 2 and Under FREE ~ Senior 60+ and Over $10.50
Hours: March 24 – Labor Day / 10am-5pm * Summer Evening Hours (June & July) Thursday, Friday & Saturday / 10am-7pm