Spend a Day at the ZooO‘ahu

Located in the heart of Waikiki lies an award-winning urban jungle inhabited by more than 1,200 mammals, birds and reptiles.

The HONOLULU ZOO is the only zoo in the United States that originated in a king’s grant when, in 1876, King David Kalakaua made lands of the Leahi Crown Holdings available “to the people of Hawai‘i.”

Today, the zoo remains a place of natural beauty and is home to wildlife that includes Asian elephants, hippopotamus, ring-tailed lemurs, Galapagos tortoise, Komodo dragons and native species of birds and plants, including the Hawaiian hawk and nene (Hawaiian goose).

In recent years, the zoo has welcomed three male Sumatran tiger cubs, the first births

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at the zoo since 1981. Another relatively new attraction is an orangutan named “Violet.” She’s a San Diego Zoo transplant who has made herself right at home thanks to Rusti, her new mate.

Many of the animals in this 42-acre zoo are housed in open-air enclosures. In the 12-acre KABUNI RESERVE, which resembles the natural habitat of an African savanna, animals roam freely behind disguised barriers. Look for sacred ibis, spotted hyenas, greater kudus, giraffes, plains zebras, aardwolves, cheetahs, lions, rhinoceros (both white and black) and Nile crocodiles. Located at the corner of Kapahulu and Kalakaua Avenues, the zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.