Pam Mizuno – Zoo Director

What’s News at the Zoo! 

So much has happened over the last three months. You have  probably heard the news about our very special addition of a new  baby Two-toed Sloth that was born to our pair Akala and Sid  sometime during the night or early morning between July 25th and  July 26th. The yet unnamed baby has been out in the zoo on  exhibit with its parents since October 20th. If you’re lucky enough  to get the timing right, you may be able to see Akala and baby  eating their midday meal. Sloth babies are so precious! Just look  at these photos and see for yourself.

On November 4th, we received a very special shipment that was made possible through the help and generosity of FOZ. Christopher Colobus came to us from Louisiana, and Jerry Anteater came from Alabama. Both animals were from other zoos and are now happily living with their new companions Spunky Monkey and Penny Ante.

Have you purchased a mainland Christmas tree this year? The press release, below,  from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture on November 27, provides another good  reason to BUY LOCAL!

A Hilo resident was transporting a Christmas tree on the rack of his vehicle over the  weekend. When he arrived home, he spotted a large lizard on top of the Christmas tree.  He was able to capture it and reported the animal to the state’s pest hotline, 643- PEST  (7378). Plant Quarantine inspectors from the Hawai`i Department of Agriculture (HDOA)  picked up the foot-long lizard Monday morning. Reptile experts at the Honolulu Zoo and the Pana`ewa Rainforest Zoo have identified the lizard as a southern alligator lizard. 

HDOA inspectors have traced the origin of the Christmas tree to a shipment from  Washington State and conducted follow-up inspections of the remaining Christmas trees  from that shipment. No evidence of other alligator lizards was found. Arrangements are  currently being made to allow the Pana`ewa Rainforest Zoo to temporarily safeguard the  lizard under quarantine conditions for educational purposes.

Southern alligator lizards (Elgaria multicarinata) are native to the U.S. and Mexico and  may grow up to two feet in length. Their diet includes various insects, spiders, snails and  other lizards.


As you can see from this press release,  our newest addition is a Southern  Alligator Lizard that hitched a ride on a  Northwest Christmas tree bound for  Hawaii! So guess what his name is?  Zookeeper Karrie came up with the very  appropriate name of Douglas!!! Thank  you to our zookeeper/reptile expert Kyle  for his help in identifying the species and  to Karrie for such a catchy name!

Construction on our new FOZ funded ʻAlalā aviary is moving along smoothly and we are all looking forward to the completion of this exciting new exhibit in 2020.



Lastly, after remaining dormant for more  than 6 years, our Amorphophallus titanium  (Corpse   Plant)  has  come back to life in the form of 3 young vegetative  leaves.  The  single  leaf    looks  like a small palm tree. It will be interesting to  watch how they develop in the coming  weeks, but because these leaves  seem to be young new plants, we  don’t expect to see blooms anytime  soon. It may be a few years before we  have another corpse flower blooming  in the zoo.


Access our Newsletters and Resources

Past Friends of the Zoo Newsletters.  Click the following links to download or read the pdf online:

December 2019 Click

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