LIONS AND TIGERS AND BEARS OH MY!  A different view of the Honolulu Zoo.

I'm a regular over at the Honolulu Zoo.  We purchased a family pass for 25 bucks and have been taking the kids at least 5-7 times a month.  Hey, I'm Pake alright?  We're gonna get value out of that annual zoo pass.

The zoo is getting an 8 million dollar makeover.  According to the Honolulu Advertiser, the renovations will be as follows:
  • A Discovery Zone to include an education building, amphitheater, interactive animal center and the Rainforest Adventure Camp Playground.
  • The Animal Health Center, providing a new in-house, state-of-the-art veterinary clinic that will also serve as a quarantine center for new animals.
  • The Hawaiian Island Experience, featuring native animals, plants and culture.
  • A new entrance to create a visually compelling atmosphere.

Let's see... If I was gonna put 8 million bucks into the zoo, I don't think I'd put it into plants or structures.  There are some animals that really need some work....

Okay, they SAY there is a tiger at the Honolulu zoo, but I've never seen him... But I've seen the Lion (like, once...)!  A scrawny skinny old lion... And there is a bear... A tiny little pitiful blind 900 year old black bear.  Please, someone needs to retire him to Jellystone Park.

There's my buddy, the peacock.  I'm sure he thinks he's beautiful when he spreads his plumage in a vain attempt to gain a mate.  I say 'vain' attempt because no female peacock in her right mind is going to be impressed by his bald no-feathered tail.

There are the turtles, who are by now world famous for their public turtle orgies complete with some of the funniest and loudest reptilian sex moans you will ever hear.  Ever see turtles do it?  I now know first hand that everything a turtle does is slow.

Our petting zoo contains a cow with real bad halitosis, a crazed billygoat that butts everyone in site, and a Llama that can flood a small village with the amount of shishi she expels in a single pee session.  The sheep look like they need some dry cleaning, and the mini-horse needs to be less 'stimulated' when he finds something good to eat, if you know what I mean (put that thing away, Mr. Ed.  You're scaring the children - and giving complexes to most of the men!).

Okay, one more bummer about the zoo, then we'll move on.  I spent 5 minutes showing my daughter the 'cute' monkey sleeping in the tree before realizing with horror that what I thought was the monkeys upside down face was actually her backend.  Uggh.  Three words... Monkeys need pants.

Enough of the bad, let's talk about what's cool about the zoo.

Right when you enter the zoo you'll see a flock of the most beautiful flamingos.  Shockingly pink, it's impossible to not feel happy when looking at these awesome creatures.  Nature's coloring books.

You'll meet a myna bird there named Toby that can say 10-20 different human phrases (that I've heard).  Some of these include 'Aloooooha!', 'Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha', and 'Here kitty kitty kitty!'.  He just loves the attention people give him and performs for the love of it.  Definitely a must see.

The spider monkeys are still a crowd favorite.  They fly through the air with no hesitation or second guesses - swinging on bamboo trellises high above a croc-filled pond.  Alright, you got me... Only turtles are in the pond, but I swear when I saw the monkeys as a kid there were Crocs sun bathing on the same monkey island.  I guess all it took was one careless monkey, then SNAP!

If you've ever seen a giraffe up close and personal, it's one of the most awesome sights you will ever see.  These giraffes look great - They are huge and also well taken care of.  My favorite part is watching them run when it's feeding time.  Because they are so gigantic and long, they take off like they're in slow motion.  Just great!  I can sit there for hours just watching them eat from grass balls he keepers hang from the high trees.

The Rhino is also impressive, as he lumbers back and forth.  Kruger, the white rhino, reminds me of a throwback to the stoneage.  Anything with feet that look like that is a Jurassic holdover.  Birds love him, humans love him...  Kruger's animal magnetism just can't be contained!

So, the 8 million should be put towards the care of the animals... Who cares about some darn entrance or plants? I love the zoo, and it doesn't need any superficial makeover to make it a world class attraction..  Ask a child what he/she likes at the zoo.  One hundred percent of them will agree on the same thing.  THE ANIMALS!