Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Activity Review: Honolulu Zoo

Why Visit the Honolulu Zoo?

Lions, Tigers, No Bears...But They Do Have Gharials

With so many activities to choose from while visiting Honolulu, deciding on a trip to the zoo might not make a lot of sense.  After all, most home cities have zoos, so why waste precious vacation time on visiting one in Honolulu?  Because it’s this one.

What makes it so darn special?
This may not be the largest zoo in the U.S. with its 42 acres, but it is home to 995 different animals from the tropics.  Making this zoo quite cool.  Also cool, is that this is our only royal zoo.  Okay, not quite royal, but the land once was.  King David Kalakaua, Monarch of Hawaii granted the people these lands in 1876.  Point of fact, he actually granted an entire 300 acres that became the zoo and Kapiolani Regional Park.  For those of you who have visited Oahu, more specifically the Honolulu area, you are, most likely, familiar with this massive park breathtakingly overshadowed by Diamond Head.
The grounds are lovely and separated into three tropical ecological zones: African Savanna, Asian and Pacific Islands/American Tropical Forests.  So, as you stroll through the zoo, the landscape foreshadows the types of animals you’ll see.  
In fact, this is the Honolulu Zoo Mission Statement directly from their brochure/handout.  
“The mission of the Honolulu Zoo is to inspire stewardship of our living world by providing meaningful experiences to our guests. The Zoo emphasizes Pacific tropical island ecosystems and our traditional values of malama (caring) and ho`okipa (hospitality).”

What type of animals live here?
One can find the typical zoo animal here, like elephants, giraffes, lions and primates.  But, there is also a variety of reptiles and amphibians that might be new to many of us.  The tiny Poison Dart Frogs that eats poisonous ants to help keep them poisonous to their enemies.  Their lipophilic alkaloid toxins is so poisonous it can kill many men, which is why some used the poison for their darts.  Interesting, huh.   
Of course, there are many other “pretty” and less dangerous animals here as well, such as sloths, ring tailed lemur and American flamingo.  All are amazing, though, and not to be missed.

To get an idea of what you might see there, check out their website before your trip to Oahu.  The zoo website hosts amazing pictures and descriptions of each animal living in their care.  Luckily for us, we happened upon experts who spent an extended period of time educating us on Amphibians and various Reptiles.  One such expert was Conner.  Just a teen in high school, he educated us in the three different types of poisons/venoms found in amphibians and reptiles.  Extremely interesting!  I probably learned more in an hour than in most university classes. 
Not just a zoo, but a classroom as well.
Besides teaching material for teachers, the Honolulu Zoo provides Zoo Camps, Twilight Tours, Field Trips and Zoo to You. 
Please read more about these wonderful programs:
Must Know Information
General Admission
$19.00 – Adult 13+
$11.00 – Children 3-12
Free – Children 2 and under
Kama‘aina/U.S. military
$8.00 – Adult 13+
$4.00 – Children 3-12 yrs.
Open Daily
9 am-4:30 pm

151 Kapahulu Ave
Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96815

Please share your experiences