Repairs have been completed on the Honolulu Zoo’s Southern Ground Hornbill and Marabou Stork exhibits. A tree toppled and damaged the enclosure during gale force winds last February. Staff and community volunteers completed replacement of the damaged walkway, viewing area and enclosures. Two Hornbills and Marabou Stork, Lurch have been returned to their adjoining renovated exhibits and are currently on public display.
Southern Ground Hornbills, listed as “vulnerable” by the IUCN Red List, are endemic to Africa and are found in savanna, grassland and open woodland habitats. Of the 54 hornbill species, the Southern Ground Hornbills are one of two carnivorous species. They spend most of their time on the ground and prey on rodents, snakes, lizards, frogs, bird eggs, nestling birds and insects.
Courtesy Honolulu Zoo
Marabou Storks are the largest of the storks, measuring up to 5-feet tall with a wingspan of approximately 12 feet. They inhabit dry savannas, grasslands, swamps and riverbanks and are found throughout sub-Saharan Africa. They are noted for their huge white bill and pink, inflatable gular sack hanging at its throat. Their diet consists of carrion, fish, insects, small rodents and reptiles.
Najuma, a 14 year old male ground hornbill who was born and raised at the Honolulu Zoo, escaped from the damaged exhibit on February 9, 2019 and is still at-large. No recent confirmed sightings of Najuma have been reported. If spotted, the public is encouraged to take a photo and call the Honolulu Zoo at 971-7171. “While it has been a year since the incident, we are still hopeful that Najuma is alive,” said Mayor Caldwell.