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City opens exhibit for cold-blooded and rare animals at Honolulu Zoo

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    The Ectotherm Complex, a facility for cold blooded animals such as lizards, snakes, salamanders, tortoises and more, opened at the Honolulu Zoo Monday in Waikiki. The $3 million dollar facility replaces the outdated Reptile House, which was originally dedicated in 1964.


    The Ectotherm Complex is a step in meeting the accreditation requirements of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, according to Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

The city has unveiled the replacement to the former Reptile House at Honolulu Zoo.

A blessing was held Monday for the grand opening of the facility, known as the Ectotherm Complex, which houses turtles, snakes, lizards, snails, frogs, salamanders and butterflies, many of which are listed as endangered.

The new facility will showcase some of the endangered species Honolulu Zoo has successfully bred in captivity, such as the Batagur turtle, Galapagos tortoise and Komodo dragon.

The former Reptile House closed three years ago and was originally dedicated in 1964. It was named after former zoo director Paul Breese, according to Honolulu Zoo’s Facebook page. Time, weather and termites had taken a toll on the old facility.

Contractor Ralph S. Inouye Co. Ltd. built the Ectotherm Complex at a cost of $2.6 million after an additional $400,000 on design and planning.

The complex offers exhibits showcasing invasive species collected or confiscated by the state Department of Agriculture and houses an invertebrate breeding lab. In partnership with the State Department of Land and Natural Resources, the zoo plans to propagate native species of Hawaiian snails and Kamehameha butterflies to be released in the wild.

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