Founded in 1969, the Louisville Zoological Garden, or the Louisville Zoo, is a 135-acre (55 ha) zoo in Louisville, Kentucky, situated in the city's Poplar Level neighborhood. The State Zoo of Kentucky currently exhibits over 1,700 animals in naturalistic and mixed animal settings representing both geographical areas and biomes or habitats. The Louisville Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). Louisville Zoo started keeping gorillas in 2002. Between March and September 2002, they imported 12 gorillas from Brookfield Zoo and Lincoln Park Zoo. Their first baby gorilla was Azizi, born in December 2003 and was the result of the breeding between Makari and Jojo. Since his birth, Azizi is owned by Lincoln Park Zoo and he is living there since 2004.
The zoo was awarded the 2003 Association of Zoos and Aquariums Exhibit Award for its 4-acre (16,000 m2) exhibit Gorilla Forest. The pavilion was built to manage two or more gorilla groups, providing two outdoor yards measuring about 0.2 hectares each. Apart from that, there are three dayrooms, four bedrooms and three bedrooms for quarantine. Inside the circular Gorilla Sanctuary, visitors are separated only by glass and can get face to face with the gorillas. There are also several different outdoor vantage points to the see the animals.