If you come to the Honolulu Zoo, there are all kinds of animals who welcome you including Mari and Vaigai the elephants.
And kids, there is a great chance for you to learn more about all the animals at the zoo.
“Our menehune program is for kids 4 and 5 years old. And our camp Imiloa is for kids 6 through 11 years old,” Honolulu Zoo Society Head Instructor Amanda Kaahanui said. “Our big chunk is in the summer time when school is out. But we also offer a break for winter, also fall, and in spring.”
KHON2 paid a visit to see exactly what we could find out. Here’s a tidbit for you: monkeys have tails, apes do not.
“They get fun enrichment projects. We do tours of the zoo. We do crafts. We play games. We’re having discussions. We’re engaging the kids all the time about conservation. And what they can do at home, and in their community and globally,” Kaahanui said.
It’s sort of a summer school with the animals.
“It’s Monday through Friday. We start at eight o’clock in the morning, kids can stay until 2:30 p.m., that’s our big curriculum time. And we have aftercare available until after 5:30 p.m.,” Kaahanui said.
It will run you around $200 for the five-day camp.
Another lesson learned: tortoises live on land, turtles in water.
Kaahanui says she loves seeing the light come in on inside a young learner’s mind.
“I’ve been at the zoo for 15 years and I’ve seen kids grow up in this program. I’ve seen kids transfer into our junior leader program, and be volunteers here at the zoo. And some of them have gone on to be workers in our education department as well as in the zoo,” Kaahanui said.
For more information about the zoo’s keiki program, visit this website.