The modern Honolulu Zoo originated in 1984, when a second Master Plan was developed for a Tropical Zoological Garden. It organized all exhibits into three tropical ecological zones: the African Savanna, Asian and American Tropical Forests, and Pacific Islands.

During this time zoo staffing grew to between 80-85 employees. In 1993, Ken Redman, was named to the Director’s position. He worked on updating the zoo’s Master Plan until his retirement in 2008. Linda Santos, the current Zoo Director, has been at the zoo since the 1970s and is committed to making our zoo a place of refuge and wonder for residents and visitors alike.

Operated by the City and County of Honolulu, the Waikiki land on which it is located belongs to the Kapiolani Charitable trust by an agreement between the Republic of Hawai‘i and the Kapiolani Park Association. The aim of the agreement was for the now 220 acres of Kapiolani Regional Park to remain a place of natural beauty and ornamental landscaping, and to ensure free, recreation grounds for the benefit of Hawai‘i’s residents and visitors.

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