The Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens is located in Hilo, Hawaii and is open every day except Christmas and New Year's from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information call (808) 959-9233.
Meet Our Animals
To begin the slideshow and meet some of our wonderful animals click on any of the thumbnail images below. Once the slideshow begins there will appear navigation buttons at the bottom of each slide to advance and backup. To exit the slide-show click anywhere outside the photos. Mahalo and enjoy!
Our American Alligators, Lilo and Stitch
If you’re interested in seeing the alligators have their daily meal, they’re fed every day between 1:15 and 1:30 p.m.
American Alligators are found from North Carolina to Texas and are usually found in freshwater rivers, swamps, marshes and lakes. In the wild, they are carnivorous and have strong jaws that can crack a turtle shell. They eat fish, snails, birds, frogs and mammals. Small prey is swallowed whole. Larger prey is shaken apart into smaller pieces. They may live to about 50 years in the wild.
All 51 subspecies of the Amazon Parrot are similar in size and shape. They are medium sized, stocky birds with short rounded or short square tails. The zoo has several amazon parrots including the Lilac Crowned, Orange Winged, Yellow Crowned and Double Yellow Headed. They like to eat fruits, berries, seeds and nuts, blossoms, leaf buds, and vegetables.
Salsa, our Double Yellow Headed Amazon Parrot sings 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow.'
Happy 15th Birthday (8/2017) to Spike, one of our Giant Anteaters. Giant Anteaters live in Central and South America from southern Belize to northern Argentina in savanna, grasslands, montane and open tropical rainforests. They like to sniff out their prey of termites and ants, worms, larvae and some fruit. An anteater can dip the tongue into an anthill or termite mound up to 150 times a minute and may eat as many as 30,000 ants or termites in a single day! They don't walk on their feet; instead, with the claws curled up into the feet, anteaters walk on their "fists". This helps to keep the claws sharp so they can dig, or defend themselves.
Binturong, like our Keoki Ann, are found in Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Palawan Island in the Phillipines. They live in the dense forest canopy of the rainforest. In the wild they will feed on fruit, especially strangler figs, shoots, leaves, eggs, birds, rodents and other small animals. At the zoo they are fed Meow Mix, fruit, especially bananas, topped with mice and soaked with water.
Northern Blue-Tongued Skink. Blue tongued lizards come in a variety of sizes and colors but they all have distinctive blue tongues. Their blue tongue is a defensive mechanism. When the lizard is threatened it sticks out its large blue tongue and hisses loudly to scare off predators.
Boa Constrictors, like our Jake, are large snakes that can grow to be as long as 13 ft. You can watch him being fed at the zoo at 11:00 on 'Petting Zoo Saturdays'.
North American Monarch Butterflies arrived in Hawaii between 1841 and 1852 following the establishment of the milkweed, their primary host plant. The crown flower and the balloon plant also serve as hosts. This orange butterfly is recorded on all the main Hawaiian Islands, with a white form on O'ahu and in Kona, Hawaii and a rare brown form on Kaua'i.
Capuchin Monkeys are possibly the most intelligent monkeys in the world and rival great apes with their ability to learn and solve complex problems.
The Brown Pale-Fronted variety is native to South America, the Amazon Basin and the Andes. The White-Faced/White-Throated species is native to Central America. They like to forage for fruits, berries, seeds, vegetation, insects, tree frogs and bird eggs and occasionally will hunt for smaller weaker animals such as nesting birds, squirrels, lizards, bats, smaller monkeys or young coati.
Emma, our Grey Crowned Crane is quite striking with her top-knot of stiff golden bristles. They are the national bird of Uganda and people in Africa keep them as pets because of the large quantity of insects they consume. If hand-raised they become quite tame and attached to their owner. All cranes engage in dancing, head pumping, bowing, jumping, running, stick or grass tossing and wing flapping. Although commonly associated with courtship rituals, it is believed to be a normal part of development for cranes and can serve to thwart aggression, relieve tension, and strengthen a pair's bond.
The Emu is the second-largest living bird by height, while the ostrich holds first place.
A flightless running bird with strong legs emu can do a 30 mph sprint for quite a distance, travel long distances at a fast trot, and jump 7 feet straight up. They have good eyesight and can escape most dangers. If danger is unavoidable they can defend themselves with their heavy feet and nails.
Our emu guarding eggs.
African Pygmy Goats originally were found in the Cameroon area of the West African plain, but are now domesticated and found worldwide. Mostly they graze for grass, but will stand on their hind legs to reach leaves, twigs and shrubs. They are one of the smallest goat breeds and are very friendly and will attach readily to humans. Excellent jumpers and climbers, their agility is due in part to the hair that grows between their hooves giving them added traction on smooth surfaces.
Nigerian Dwarf Goats are found in Nigeria (West Africa) mountain country and sometimes in lowlands on rough ground. Goats are natural browsers for plants and vegetables and will improve a pasture by removing brambles, undergrowth, weeds and ivy (even poison ivy) that other livestock will not eat. They are gentle, lovable, and playful, with calm, even temperaments and engaging personalities.
Sacred Ibis birds come from Africa and Madagascar, where they inhabit swamps and marshes. Their survival status is fairly common, but they are extinct in Egypt because of habitat loss from swamp drainage. Their lifespan is 20 years. Ibis's fossil records go back 60 million years.
Mummified specimens are common in ancient Egypt burial places; over 1.5 million birds were found in one group of tombs.
Drako, our Green Iguana. Iguana can grow to be 3-6 feet long and weigh up to 8 pounds. They range from Mexico to southern Brazil and Paraguay, and are also found on the Caribbean Islands. Introduced illegally on O'ahu they are now established there. In the wild they like tropical rainforest areas near rivers or streams, often living high up in the forest canopy.
Native Hawaiian Hawk, 'Io. Our resident 'Io, Kapono, is fed mice and meat. In the wild 'Io will eat insects, small mammals, and birds. They are found mainly on the Island of Hawaii and frequently seen soaring in Volcanoes National Park, in Hilo, Puna and along the Hamakua coast in ohi'a and koa forests and over pasturelands.
Kinkajou are related to the raccoon and are found from Mexico to Brazil. They live in warm humid lowland rainforests and like a diet of fruit, especially bananas, flowers, insects, honey, and nectar. At the zoo they are fed monkey chow, bananas and other fruit. Since they are nocturnal, sleeping up in the trees during the day, you may only see them on a night tour or if the zookeeper is about to feed them.
Brown Lemurs can be found in Madagascar and the Comoro Islands in lowland rainforest. Gandalf, our White-Fronted Brown Lemur, is fed a diet of chopped fruit, lettuce, and leaf-eater biscuits. In the wild they like to move through the forest canopy, leaping along horizontal branches, using their long tails for balance, while foraging for fruit, leaves, sap, and flowers. They also like to feed on bark, soil, and centipedes and millipedes which they salivate on and roll in their hands for a few minutes since some are poisonous.
Ring-Tailed Lemur, found in south and southwestern portions of Madagascar, live from sea level up to 8,530 feet in a variety of habitat types including rainforests, sub-alpine, gallery, deciduous and spiny bush forests. Here at the zoo, Casper, our friendly 'ghost', (lemur means ghost in the native language), eats chopped fruit and lettuce, and leaf-eater biscuits. Ring-Tailed Lemurs like to start the day sun-bathing before foraging for food. They like to walk about on all fours through the forests, but will stand and run in a sideways skipping motion to escape danger. They make a variety of sounds: clicks, grunts, cat-like purrs, squeals, and howls.
Blue and Gold Macaw and the Catalina Macaw are some of the larger Macaws with an adult length of 34" - 36" and a wing span of 41"- 45". The Blue and Gold Macaw are beautiful and brilliant with shades of blue on their heads, backs, and long tails and contrasting yellow breasts and necks. The Catalina Macaw is colored differently as a result of interbreeding with a Scarlet Macaw.
Zoey and Rowdy are Hyacinth Macaws. This breed is the largest of all parrots at 3.3 ft and the largest of the flying parrots. They come from Central and Eastern South America. Their lifespan is estimated at 50 years. Their survival status is Endangered. Zoey was born June 2003 in Kona, Hawaii. Rowdy arrived at our zoo in September 2013 to be a companion for Zoey. These are very entertaining birds to watch. They like to dance and Zoey will wave to you.
The Miniature Horse is 34" to 38" tall, about 1/4 the size of a full-sized horse. They like to eat grass, hay, grains, and treats of carrots and apples. They are used as pets and may be used to pull carts. They are descendants of "pit ponies" which were used to pull coal carts in mines. They tend to be eager, friendly, gentle and patient with the keiki.
Native Hawaiian Nene Geese are the State Bird of Hawaii. Almost extinct by the 1940's, protection and restoration efforts have increased their number. They are believed to have evolved from a common ancestral type, related to the Canada Goose, and do resemble them somewhat.
Our Indian Blue Peafowl (males are called peacocks; females are called peahens) have the run of the zoo and often surprise visitors when they are seen flying or perching in trees or on the rooftops of exhibits. The male, or peacock, is known for its beautiful plumage on display during mating season. The peahen is less colorful.
Feral Pigs (in Hawaiian: Pua'a) are found on all of the Hawaiian Islands except Lanai and Kaho'olawe from sea level to 10,000 feet. They will forage for food by rooting up vegetation: lobelias, tree ferns, roots, grasses, strawberry guava and get much protein intake from earthworms, frogs, and bird eggs. The first Polynesians introduced the small Asiatic type 1600 years ago and were raised by early Hawaiians as a food source, for religious ceremonies and as pets. Captain Cook introduced the European breed in 1778 and more European stock was introduced later, diluting the Asian bloodline.
Happy 12th Birthday (2017) to Glory, our Vietnamese Potbelly Pig.
It is a small pig, that can weigh between 70 and 150 pounds, with a height between 14 to 18 inches tall. It has heavily wrinkled skin. It has a pronounced sway back and a large sagging belly, which in pregnant sows may drag on the ground. The head is small, with an up-turned snout, small ears and eyes, and heavy sagging jowls.
Native Hawaiian Short-Eared Owl, Pueo. Flower, is our resident Pueo. Pueo are endemic to the state of Hawai'i, but are endangered on O'ahu due to habitat loss. They are common on Kauai, Maui and our Big Island. Flower was obtained in May of 2004 with an injured wing making her unreleasable. Unlike most owls the Pueo are active during the day. So as you look into her cage she will be awake, but a little hard to see because her camouflage is very good.
Our Bengal Tiger, Sriracha is female. She is orange with black stripes and brown eyes. Bengal Tigers are found mostly in India with a few in Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and West Myanmar. Males are solitary while females and their offspring stay together for 2 years. They like water and are good swimmers, have an excellent sense of smell but only fair vision.
Tzatiki, our White Bengal Tiger, is a male. White Bengal Tigers are rare. There are about 130 in captivity in zoos and in Las Vegas. They are white with chocolate stripes due to a mutation in a recessive gene which also causes them to have crossed eyes of grey-blue color.
The Aldabra Giant Tortoise from the Islands of the Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles, is one of the largest tortoises in the world. Primarily herbivores, Aldabra Giant Tortoises eat grasses, leaves, and woody plant stems. In captivity they are known to consume fruits such as apples and bananas, as well as compressed vegetable pellets. Little fresh water is available for drinking in the tortoises' natural habitat, so they obtain most of their moisture from their food.
The Turkey Vulture has a wingspan of 5 feet, keen eyesight and a superb sense of smell. They are able to soar hundreds of feet into the air while holding their wings in a V-shape, seldom flapping their wings as they float on thermals. Their distinct red head is bald keeping it clean when eating carrion.
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This website is paid for and managed by “Friends of the Pana'ewa Zoo.” Friends of the Pana'ewa Zoo is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, which is not affiliated with the County of Hawai'i. The official County website can be found at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/pr-panaewa-rec/.
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