The Gulf Breeze Zoo was inaugurated in February 1978 as The Zoo Northwest Florida. Due to the Hurricane Ivan, the zoo started having financial troubles and it closed in August 2009. The zoo was purchased by Virginia Safari Park of Natural Bridge in
December 2009, and was reopened in February 2010 as Gulf Breeze Zoo. It has an area of 20 hectares, where they keep primates, big cats, marsupials or birds, such as chimpanzees, giraffes, bears, otters or clouded leopards between others. The zoo started keeping gorillas in 1988, when a couple, Colossus and Muke, arrived from Bensons and Saint Louis Zoo respectively. The first gorilla birth at Gulf Breeze happened in January 2012, when Kigali was born to parents Rwanda and Babuka. Due to complications during birth, Kigali was delivered via cesarean section. After 8 months of care by zoo
staff, he has been reunited with his mother.
Gorillas at Gulf Breeze Zoo are placed on an enclosure that imitates the shape of an island, being surrounded by a river and delimited by an electric fence. It is provided with a lot of trees, grass on the ground and some climbing structures.their indoor bedrooms. their indoor bedrooms.