Zoo Info (808) 959-7224 - Gift Shop (808) 959-9233

About US

Friends of the Pana’ewa Zoo Mission Statement

Our mission is to promote the Pana’ewa Zoo, educate visitors, provide for special animal needs, enhance the lives of the resident animals, nurture the rainforest environment of the zoo and encourage compassion towards animals.

Friends of the Pana’ewa Zoo (FOZ) was formed in 1981 and received its nonprofit status in 1986.  FOZ promotes the Pana’ewa  Zoo, assists in providing for special zoo needs, and enhances the lives of the resident animals wherever possible without interfering with the operations of this municipal zoo, which is owned and operated by the County of Hawaii.


To accomplish our goal of promoting the zoo, we encourage those interested in our zoo to contribute to the Friends of the Pana’ewa Zoo (FOZ). Information regarding membership is located on the back of every zoo map. There are other opportunities for cash contributions, including a donation box, at the entry/exit of the zoo. These are all ways you can help FOZ fund projects at your zoo. We also have a Facebook page and a website that show recent pictures of our animals and events, as well as our quarterly newsletters.  Both of these sites are popular with visitors to our island as well as local residents who frequent the zoo often.



Also part of promoting the zoo are our special events during the year.  This year those events included our annual Plant Sale and Tiger Fun Day.



With the proceeds of FOZ memberships, the plant sale, bench sales and our events, we are able to fund various zoo projects.  Before each expenditure is made, there is discussion and approval by the Board.   We are also the recipients of grants by interested community members and local businesses, and use those grants in a similar fashion.  Some of the recent proposals we have given money for are:  Special toys for the tigers, special lighting for the reptile house, travel expenses to bring the tigers to Hawaii, copper sheeting to keep slugs out of the lemur exhibit, and fencing materials for a new donkey enclosure. These requests also play into our goal of enhancing the lives of the residents of the zoo.


Another endeavor which gives us funds for zoo projects is the operation of the zoo gift shop.  With the dedication of our gift shop staff members and help from Senior Employment, the gift shop is open every day that the zoo is open.  They contribute a significant part of our funding for zoo projects.


At present, FOZ has two major special events during the year: the Plant Sale and Tiger Fun Day.


The Plant Sale happens in late April or early May, usually the Sunday before Mother’s Day.  Plant vendors and others are invited to sell their specialty plants and the various societies that plant at the zoo, including the Bamboo, Palm, Cycad, Orchid, Water Garden and Tropical Vireya Societies are frequently present to provide information about their areas of expertise.


Tiger Fun Day is usually at the end of June but sometimes early July, where we celebrate the arrival of our two tigers, Tzatziki and Sriracha.  FOZ provides games, entertainment and food for the family to enjoy and special treats for the tigers.