From elephants and giraffes to zebras and ostriches, with more than 800 animals, the Honolulu Zoo has a lot to offer.
“As long as it’s here were coming,” said a group of visitors.
There are also concerns, especially with an accreditation inspection coming up in November.
Accreditation is important to the Honolulu Zoo, because it signifies a commitment to animal care as well as excellence within the institution.
If they lose it, they could lose animals.
That’s something Honolulu Zoo director Baird Fleming doesn’t want to see happen and he has a plan to prevent that.
“Our hope is that we make sure not only we pass accreditation, but really nail it,” said Fleming. “We don’t want to skim we’re done with that. We want to go above and beyond.”
Fleming has been zoo director for four months.
He’s the fifth director in the last six years.
“I hate to say it, but we have became somewhat accustomed to the transition format,” said Fleming.
The high turnover rate has been just one of the problems.
Fewer people are visiting the zoo, and revenue is down.
From 2013 to 2014, revenue from admissions fell by more than $300,000.
“I would attribute a lot of that to all the construction,” said Fleming. “We don’t really have any new and fancy exhibits going on.”
But Fleming has a vision to turn things around.
“A lot of it is basically completing projects that were intended to start years ago, but we finally generated enough support to actually complete those projects.”
In the meantime, Fleming and his staff are working to get everything ready and are hoping a few added attractions and facilities will create an even better experience for visitors.
“We’ve got a lot going on at the zoo and it’s all happening at the same time so come January it’s going to be a new zoo.”
The Honolulu Zoo will find out the results from the accreditation inspection in March 2016.