The Honolulu Zoo’s renewed accreditation makes everyone happy, especially the animals, who may be getting some new neighbors from Southeast Asia and Australia. Since last year, the zoo’s credibility has been in limbo when it failed to meet standards required by the country’s leading accrediting organization, the Association of Zoo and Aquariums.
Mayor Peter Carlisle announces the zoo’s accreditation at yesterday’s press conference.
Zoo director Manuel Mollinedo and his staff tackled a long list of issues, which included: rust, termites, understaffing and improvements to the elephant exhibit. They’ve since addressed that and more – hiring a second veterinarian and general curator as well as adding more signage throughout the zoo.
If the zoo had not made such changes in time, it might have lost some of its animals. Accreditation is required when partnering with other zoos in conservations programs. Mollinedo said they wouldn’t have been able to breed their tigers nor send them out to the mainland zoos, which participate in the Sumatran tigers species survival program.
Tourists and locals planning a visit to the Honolulu Zoo can get excited about the addition of more animals, such as koalas and kangaroos, as well as a possible zoo restaurant. The zoo currently houses more than 1,000 animals, which includes several protected species. About 600,000 people visit every year.
Photo Credit: City & County of Honolulu
HONOLULU ZOO • 151 Kapahulu Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815 • Open 9am-430pm daily, closed Christmas Day • 808-971-7171 • www.honoluluzoo.org • See site for admission fees • Metered parking available; Near bus route
Posted by: Bruce Fisher