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The Louisville Zoo celebrates 50 years

This sassy little Prairie Dog is one of a colony of eight. August, 1969.
Enjoying the activity in the Children's Zoo. August, 1969.
Judy, the baby elephant knows all about kids since she is part of the Chimpanzee Show. 1969
This little lady was wondering what to do with the vegetables in her cup. 1969
A Harbor Seal from Maine seems to be scolding the cameraman for taking her picture. 1969

Here is a transcript of the original article on the zoo’s grand opening from the Rural Kentuckian Magazine. Published in August, 1969.

Kentucky has a new, fun-place to go. As a matter of fact, it is the only place of its kind in the state. And—to make matters even more interesting—kids from 3 to 99 will enjoy the entertainment. The name of the place is the “Louisville Zoological Garden”. Entertainment is provided by the more than 200 animals which populate the zoo.


The Louisville Zoo first opened it’s doors to the public on a fulltime basis May 1, and since that time thousands of people from Kentucky and neighboring states have visited the new attraction. Even though the zoo is only one third complete, it is already rivaling many of the nation’s zoos for first place in terms of facilities and animals. Present attractions include a daily Chimpanzee show and a “Children’s Zoo”. Needless to say, the Chimpanzee show provides a laugh a minute for adults and children alike, and at the Children’s Zoo, kids are allowed to pet and feed the young animals. In fact, most of the animals at the zoo spend their infancy in the Children’s Zoo and when they become too big they are given permanent—and larger—quarters elsewhere on the zoo grounds.

Facilities at the zoo are second to none. Animal housing quarters are clean and the refreshment stands and the gift shop are cool, ultra-modern—and the hot dogs taste great. When entering the gate at the zoo, a visitor can locate practically all the exhibits visually. The grass is “bluegrass green” and well mowed, complimenting the gently rolling 58 acres which make up the zoo grounds. Of course, you must plan to spend four or five hours if you intend to visit all of the animal exhibits.

Once you start your tour at the Louisville Zoological Garden, it will be much like visiting the continents of the world. This is because each of the animal exhibits is arranged according to the way the animals would live in their natural habitat. So for example, all the African animals are in one group, while all the Australian animals are in another. As a result, there is a delightful surprise around every corner and over every hill.

So why wait? Make the summer one for the children to remember! Take them to the zoo where they can see a real, live Yak, a Gnu, an Egyptian Goose, a Cheeta, or a genuine Stork—not to mention the Elephants, Lions, Camels, and Monkeys.

And don’t forget the camera. . .you’ll be sorry if you do.

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