comscore Politics and lackluster leadership have taken a toll on Honolulu Zoo | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Politics and lackluster leadership have taken a toll on Honolulu Zoo

  • BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    The hippo viewing exhibit at the Honolulu Zoo, where a walkway is flooded, has been closed since 2014. The zoo is in the process of trying to regain its accreditation, which it lost earlier this year. Portions of the zoo are run down, some exhibits have been closed and others are in dire need of repair.

  • DANA WILLIAMS / DWILLIAMS@STARADVERTISER

    Shopping center kiosks located throughout the zoo display dusty laminated pieces of paper secured with tape. After questions were raised by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the kiosks were closed for cleaning.

  • BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Visitors Jim and Kelly Ozgunduz peek through a torn curtain at the Reptile House, which is currently closed for renovation.

  • DANA WILLIAMS / DWILLIAMS@STARADVERTISER

    Association of Zoos and Aquariums officials said the zoo is not in compliance with elephant management standards, and stated “there is not sufficient potable drinking water for the elephants on exhibit.”

  • STAR-ADVERTISER

    “Zoo directors are appointees of the administration so they never say they need more money than the mayor has proposed. They always say they can live within the means provided. Obviously, in this case, they couldn’t.”

    Ernie Martin

    HONOLULU CITY COUNCIL CHAIRMAN

  • DANA WILLIAMS / DWILLIAMS@STARADVERTISER

    A number of exhibits remain closed for maintenance or construction.

  • DANA WILLIAMS / DWILLIAMS@STARADVERTISER

    A walkway winds around an open area of vegetation and water.

  • DANA WILLIAMS / DWILLIAMS@STARADVERTISER

    The AZA accreditation committee noted animals that were old or in declining health. Djelita, at 25 the oldest Sumatran tiger in any zoo, was still on public exhibit several days before she was euthanized April 17.

  • STAR-ADVERTISER

    “They (the Association of Zoos and Aquariums) really think our staff is doing a great job. I think our staff is doing a great job.”

    Baird Fleming

    HONOLULU ZOO DIRECTOR

When Honolulu Zoo visitors peer through a fence at what should be a new reptile and amphibian complex, they see a dirt lot full of rebar and empty machinery. Read more

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