Honolulu Zoo Says It's Taking Steps Toward Re-Accreditation

Nov 1, 2019

The Honolulu Zoo is still moving toward regaining the accreditation it lost from the national Association of Zoos and Aquariums in 2016.

Zoo director Linda Santos says the zoo is awaiting an inspection by the AZA.

Speaking at a news conference Thursday unveiling three new cheetahs,  Santos said she has received the names of the inspectors and expects them to arrive in January. 

When the zoo lost accreditation, AZA cited a lack of consistent funding. Since then, voters approved a city charter amendment to create a Honolulu Zoo fund, and the zoo has been opened up for sponsorships from private donors.

The zoo also had a revolving door of leadership, with six different directors in eight years.

Santos has been with the zoo since 1986 and has been its director since 2017.

"We have a director who’s not going anywhere," said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell at the press conference. "We have funding that’s committed that goes to this zoo, and we have a staff that we love and want to make sure they get taken care of well, so that they can do their job which is to take care of the animals that are here at the zoo.”

After the inspections, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums  will notify the Honolulu Zoo in April whether it has been re-accredited.