Nearly $3 million needed to fix deteriorating exhibits at Honolulu Zoo

Honolulu Zoo

The city is asking for just under $3 million to fix up exhibits at the Honolulu Zoo some of which are deteriorating at a faster pace than expected.

The city says in addition to maintenance needing to be done to some of the exhibits, others are showing signs of rust, something that needs to be dealt with before it starts to get worse.

The city originally planned to ask for just over $ 1million to maintain and upgrade exhibits at the zoo. That request has since been increased to just under $3 million.

In a letter to council members, the city’s budget director says the animal exhibits rate of deterioration was not anticipated.

The city added elements such as a $185,000 fencing replacement for the cheetah exhibit, $500,000 for the lion exhibit, $220,000 for giraffe and hippo facilities, and $600,000 for an electric and hydraulic power upgrade for the elephant exhibit.

Councilmember Kymberly Pine tried for years to get a sponsorship program off the ground to bring in money for the zoo. It is something she says the city isn’t taking advantage of. “After the sponsorship legislation was passed wealthy individuals came forward and wanted to be part of the program. It’s very unfortunate that the sponsorship program has not been implemented because this request for over $2 million probably would never have needed to be made.”

The city said in a statement the zoo has been working with staff, contractors, and specialists to assess the current condition of the exhibits and that the needs identified in this request are the result of recent findings.

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