This 12-acre zoo, in the heart of the Panaewa Forest Reserve south of Hilo, is the only outdoor rainforest zoo in the U.S. Some 80 species of animals from rainforests around the globe call Panaewa home, including tigers Tzatziki and Sriracha, as do a couple of “Kona nightingales”—donkeys that escaped decades ago from coffee farms. (Though highway signs still warn of them, virtually all were relocated to California in 2011 during a prolonged drought.) The Panaewa residents enjoy fairly natural, sometimes overgrown settings. Look for cute pygmy goats, capuchin monkeys, and giant anteaters, among other critters. This free attraction includes a covered playground popular with local families.
Hawaii (The Big Island)
Hawaii (The Big Island)› Attraction
Panaewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens
800 Stainback Hwy, Keaau
Our Rating Neighborhood Off Hwy 11, 5 miles south of its intersection with Hwy. 19 in downtown Hilo Hours Daily 9am–4pm. Petting zoo Sat 1:30–2:30pm Phone 808/959-7224 Prices Free admission. Web site Panaewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens
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