Join our zoo community

Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens Zoo News

Discussion in 'United States' started by Milwaukee Man, 15 Oct 2015.

  1. Milwaukee Man

    Milwaukee Man Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    1 Aug 2011
    Posts:
    2,163
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI, USA
  2. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    10 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    5,415
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
  3. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Feb 2015
    Posts:
    817
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Currently uploading a comprehensive array of media from my visit. Description/review will follow, probably tomorrow.
     
    Kifaru Bwana likes this.
  4. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Feb 2015
    Posts:
    817
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Since it's a pretty average small zoo and the media largely speaks for itself, I've decided to simply give a brief statement rather than a full walk-through or comprehensive review.

    The Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo of Hilo, Hawaii, is aptly named; it is the only zoo in the United States located in a tropical rainforest climate. I was also pleasantly surprised by the admission price; it's free! Free zoos are rare, and Hawaii was one of the last places I would have expected to have a free zoo. I don't know if they receive municipal funding or if they are entirely dependent on donations and the like.

    As I stated, the zoo is pretty unremarkable in terms of exhibits (mostly cages) and species (mostly small tropical animals that are commonplace in other American zoos). There are exceptions to both of these, however. The exhibit exception is a MASSIVE tiger enclosure for two tigers; I was stunned by its size, and I would be quick to argue that it rivals major zoos on the mainland for the title of best tiger exhibit in the country.

    The species exception are the native Hawaiian birds. I'm pretty sure nene are held on the mainland, but two other species at Pana'ewa are not: the 'io, or Hawaiian hawk (Buteo solitarius) and Hawaiian short-eared owl (Asio flammeus sandwichensis). There also used to be Hawai'i 'amakihi (Chlorodrepanis virens) but when I visited the exhibit said "temporarily closed". Besides the 'io and pueo, there is also a *hybrid* lemur that, per studbook data, is over 90% a white-fronted lemur, an almost extinct species in North America.

    The zoo certainly has potential, with both empty and underutilized space available for new exhibits and a climate that is conducive to keeping countless species. The question is whether that potential will ever be recognized, as small zoos usually lack funds for major renovation and often struggle just to keep their doors open. Whatever its future, Pana'ewa ekes out an existence as the only zoo on the Big Island and a final home for many confiscated pets and rescue animals.
     
  5. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    13 Jun 2007
    Posts:
    16,340
    Location:
    omnipresent
    there is a Hawaiian short-eared owl at Los Angeles Zoo also.
     
  6. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Feb 2015
    Posts:
    817
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I knew that they had one in the recent past, but I thought I remembered people on this site being unsure whether or not it was still there. Do you know for sure that it still is? If so, it's not on exhibit.
     
  7. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    10 Nov 2015
    Posts:
    1,954
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    It's still on their website (which was recently updated removing a number of species no longer st the zoo):
    Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens | Owl, Hawaiian Short-Eared
     
  8. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    13 Jun 2007
    Posts:
    16,340
    Location:
    omnipresent
    it was never on full display, but can be seen in their bird show.
     
    Coelacanth18 likes this.