The official name of the Hilo zoo is Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens. No admission fee and open every day. The first time I went, the boys and I were the only customers and we got to pet a Lemur that was being taken for a walk. The main attraction is the White Bengal Tiger that roams a beautiful one acre enclosure. The boys have been several times and their favorite part seems to be getting an ice cream bar from the gift shop. Saturday afternoon a petting zoo is set up for the kids – we haven’t made it to that one yet. The Two-toed Sloth hanging upside down from the top of the cage with a baby on her belly is pretty interesting. Macaw varieties of all colors are exhibited. The feral pig is an interesting sight, although we get to see these running around our neighborhood at times.
The other part of the Zoo is the gardens, the landscaping is exquisite. Many plants and trees have plaques with the name of the plant species. There is a nice pond at the entrance with many water lilies. Various bamboo specimens are spread throughout the zoo. The verdict is in and the Hilo Zoo is approved for a Puna style adventure.