The Honolulu Zoo is hosting a free keiki day — “Ele-Fun Day” — this Sunday to highly elephant conservation.
The event, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, was organized by Sheila Watumull in honor of her late husband David Watumull’s birthday. Admission will be free for all children ages 12 and under accompanied by an adult.
“We would like to celebrate David Watumull’s birthday by honoring and acknowledging the generosity and support that he and Sheila have provided the Honolulu Zoo over the past 40 years,” said Linda Santos, Honolulu Zoo director, in a statement. “It is because of their vision, resolve and relationship with India that we are able to have two Asian elephants in our zoo today for the public to visit, learn about and enjoy.”
“Ele-Fun Day” celebrates resident female Asian elephants Mari and Vaigai, who were brought to Honolulu Zoo as gifts from the family of Indira Ghandi by Sheila and David, who both served as honorary consuls general to India. Mari arrived in Honolulu in 1982 followed by Vaigai in 1992.
There will be two elephant talks and feedings at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., along with education and coloring stations on the picnic lawn near the elephant exhibit and drawings for giveaways, including artwork by Mari and Vaigai.
Special guests include the Sacred Hearts School choir, which will sing to the elephants, along with Miss Hawaii Lauren Teruya and former Miss Hawaii Candes Gentry.
The Honolulu Zoo Society’s education station will share bio-facts on elephants.
Asian elephants are smaller than the African elephant, and are noted for having smaller, rounded ears, according to Honolulu Zoo. They are listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List.