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Linda Santos Selected As New Honolulu Zoo Director
Linda Santos selected as new Honolulu Zoo director
Linda Santos (with lei) stands next to Mayor Caldwell at today's press conference.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced today that Linda Santos has been selected as the new director of the Honolulu Zoo, the first female director in the zoo's history.
"Linda Santos's love for the zoo, its staff, and the animals is clear," said Mayor Caldwell. "She's made a positive impact on our zoo for over three decades, from her years as an animal keeper through her recent service as assistant zoo director. She knows the people, she knows the exhibits, and she knows the zoo's strengths and its challenges. Her vast experience will help lead the zoo's effort to seek reaccreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums."
"The Honolulu Zoo has been the passion of my career and it is an honor to be the new zoo director," said Santos. "I love watching families from O‘ahu and around the world learn about animals and conservation every day at our zoo, and I am looking forward to working hard to ensure our zoo has a successful future."
"Linda knows the zoo and what it takes to properly run the zoo," said Executive Director of the Honolulu Zoo Society David Earles. "The Honolulu Zoo Society has been working closely with Linda in crafting successful programs, events and initiatives to support the zoo.We look forward to her leadership to strengthen and enhance our partnership, ensuring a successful future for the Honolulu Zoo."
Linda Santos has worked for the Honolulu Zoo for over 31 years. She started in 1986 as a trainee in the bird section and in the zoo commissary preparing food and organizing diet cards for the animals. She worked as an animal keeper from 1986 to 2008, a bird specialist from 2008 to 2011, and the zoo's general curator from 2012 to 2015. She served as the zoo's assistant zoo director since July 2015.
"Having worked with Linda for over 25 years, I am very proud of her accomplishment, as she has dedicated her life to the Honolulu Zoo," added Tommy Higashino, retired assistant director for the Honolulu Zoo. "She has proven herself to be a compassionate, capable and trusted leader and is a true success story and inspiration for the zoo."
The Honolulu Zoo Director is a civil service position, not a mayoral appointed position. Santos was selected through the civil service hiring process by the Department of Enterprise Services and her position does not require City Council approval.
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ABOUT HONOLULU ZOO
Over 600,000 people visit the Honolulu Zoo annually. The zoo is administered by the City & County of Honolulu through the Department of Enterprise Services. The Honolulu Zoo Society provides fundraising and educational services for the zoo.
It is the largest zoo within a radius of 2,300 miles and unique in that it is the only zoo in the United States originating from a King's grant of royal lands to the people. King David Kalakaua, Monarch of Hawai`i from 1874 to 1891, made lands of the Leahi Land Holdings available in 1876 to the people for a thirty year lease. That year, a "Kapiolani Park Association" of two hundred subscriber members assumed the administration of the three hundred-acre park. The marshy parcel was a muddle of fishponds, lagoons and islands where King Kalakaua maintained his collection of exotic birds. In 1877 the area was named after the King's wife and opened as Queen Kapiolani Park.
HONOLULU ZOO MISSION STATEMENT (Back to the top)
The mission of the Honolulu Zoo is to inspire the stewardship of our living world by providing meaningful experiences to our guests. The Zoo emphasizes Pacific Tropical ecosystems and our traditional values of malama (caring) and ho'okipa (hospitality).
HOURS (Back to the top)
9:00 am to 4:30 pm daily
Closed Christmas Day
MAP Back to the top
Download detailed map of the Zoo with attraction shops, activities and more.
Founded in 1969 as the Zoo Hui, the Honolulu Zoo Society of today is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and employs a permanent staff. Membership consists of people representing families and individuals from across the State of Hawaii and the continental U.S. More....
VOLUNTEER PROGRAM (Back to the top)
If you care about animals and the environment and have the desire to get involved, here is some information about how you can join our Zooper volunteer team! More...
ACTIVITIES & PROGRAM (Back to the top)
School Group Programs:
- School Outreach - Zoo To You
- School Groups - Zoo Field Trips
- Art in the Zoo
- Dinner Safari
- Star Gazing at the Zoo
- Vacation Adventures
- PreVacation Adventures
- Honolulu Zoo Strollers
- Birthday Parties
- Snooze in the Zoo
- Twilight Tour
- Junior Zoo Keeper
- Keiki Zoo Keeper
- Breakfast with a Keeper
- Volunteer Program
- Interpretive Services
Click here to get more info on activities and programs on Honolulu Zoo website.
FAMILY PROGRAM REGISTRATION FORM Back to the top
Download pdf application for family programs, activities, membership and more.
HISTORY OF HONOLULU ZOO (Back to the top)
Around 600,000 people visit the Honolulu Zoo annually. It is the largest zoo within a radius of 2,300 miles and unique in that it is the only zoo in the United States originating from a King's grant of royal lands to the people. King David Kalakaua, Monarch of Hawai`i from 1874 to 1891, made lands of the Leahi Land Holdings available in 1876 to the people for a thirty year lease. That year, a "Kapiolani Park Association" of two hundred subscriber members assumed the administration of the three hundred-acre park. The marshy parcel was a muddle of fishponds, lagoons and islands where King Kalakaua maintained his collection of exotic birds. In 1877 the area was named after the King's wife and opened as Queen Kapiolani Park.
Park Association members supported the unpromising park with the help of royal grants through 1894. In those days, the park's primary attractions were the exotic bird collection and horse racing, especially the running of the Rosita Cup, held annually on King Kamehameha Day.
Peacocks, trees, and palms were added to the park, with plantings obtained from Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Roads and trolley lines were extended to include "Waikiki Road at Makee", today's intersection of Kalakaua and Kapahulu Avenues. The park was permanently established in 1896 and the City and County of Honolulu assumed administration of city parks in 1914. Today, the zoo continues under the administration of the City, but as a part of the Department of Enterprise Services.
During 1914 to 1916, the young administrator of Parks and Recreation, Ben Hollinger began collecting animals for exhibit at Kapiolani Park. The first animals included a monkey, a honey bear and some lion cubs. In 1916 Daisy, a friendly African elephant arrived in Honolulu on the Niagra, a steamship on it's way from Australia to Canada transporting animals for mainland zoos and circuses. Ben Hollinger, pictured at left with Daisy, persuaded city merchants to purchase Daisy and for years she delighted Honolulu children. Many recall riding as a youngster around the park on her back.
Daisy's career ended tragically in 1933, when for unexplained reasons, she attacked and trampled to death her keeper George Conradt. She was put down by police marksmen and buried at sea. Pictured right are Daisy and her keeper George Conradt. (See recent newspaper account.)
During the Depression years, the Zoo faltered and nearly closed. Additional animals still came to the zoo, including the following animals purchased from an animal dealer to arrive November 29, 1949 aboard the freighter, the American Wholesaler, out of Los Angeles: a giraffe, an ostrich, emus, an elephant, a Bactrian camel, 3 sea lions, several other bird species birds, spider monkeys and a tortoise. However, the grounds and facilities continued to fall into disrepair. In 1947, the donation of a camel, elephant, chimpanzees and deer by the Dairymen's Association sparked a renewal for the Honolulu Zoo. During this time the City took important steps to set the course for today's Zoo. It approved a Master Plan that determined the boundaries of the present 42-acre site at the north end of Kapiolani Park. It hired its first full-time director, Paul Breese, and a staff of thirteen. The animal collection, increased by purchase, trade and donations, was housed in newly constructed facilities, some of which still provide foundations for newer exhibits. In 1952 the Zoo's design was revised, and again modified to take on the shape and form seen in the "old zoo" exhibits like the small mammal row along Kapahulu Avenue.
It is the only zoo in the United States to be established by grants made by a sovereign monarch. Built on part of a 300 acres (121 ha) royal park in Waikiki known as Queen Kapiolani Park, the Honolulu Zoo now features over 1,230 animals in specially designed habitats.
Over 601,510 people visit the zoo annually. The Honolulu Zoo Society provides fundraising and educational services for the zoo. The zoo is administered by the City & County of Honolulu through the Department of Enterprise Services.
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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