Local Connection: Zoo Accreditation

Local Connection: Zoo Accreditation

Honolulu received another black eye last week when the Association of Zoos and Aquariums revoked accreditation for the Honolulu Zoo.

The zoo is an essential educational, cultural and entertainment resource for our city, and there is no reason why it shouldn't be successful.

Honolulu Zoo is ideally located for local families and school visits, and next to Waikiki, a potentially limitless tourist market.  It should be a gem that we can all be proud of.

Not only is this setback a shame, it is shameful because it was predicted and preventable.

The zoo has suffered for years from political, financial and management neglect and lack of leadership by city officials.

Hawaii News Now reported a year ago that the zoo had been starved of funding by both the city and its own support group – the Honolulu Zoo Society. The society and Caldwell administration promised action to prevent losing accreditation.

Clearly, it was too little too late.  Catching up and seeking reaccreditation will now cost taxpayer more than if the city had properly invested in this precious resource in the first place.

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