The Panaewa Zoo is the only United States zoo situated in a rainforest, featuring animals native to the rainforest. It recently celebrated it's 25th anniversary, enriching the lives of both the aniamls and also the visitors.
In 2002 The Panaewa Rainforest Zoo hosted over 138,000 visitors, averaging nearly 11,000 free visits each month. The Zoo is heavily supported by it's large volunteer staff and by donations. One new attraction will be a Primadome, to house primates in a non traditional setting. A fun, family friendly zoo, you may see a birthday party going on in the pavilion. The Zoo is also known for it lush tropical vegetation including orchids, rhododendrons, and water lilies. The Equestrian Center features horse activities such as rodeos, racing, dressage, and stall rentals. The Panaewa Rainforest Zoo is open every day at no charge from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The tiger feeding is daily at 3:30 p.m. Closed Christmas and New Year's Day.
The Zoo is situated on the outskirts of Hilo. From Hilo, take Highway 11 (Hawaii Belt Road) South towards Volcano. About two and one half miles past Prince Kuhio Shopping Plaza. Look for the "ZOO" sign on lava rock wall just after "Kulani 19" and turn right (Mamaki). Coming from Volcano look for "Kulani 19", the sign for the Zoo is a small brown one high above the ground on the right hand side of the highway. Turn left at Mamaki, follow signs to the Zoo, 1 mile off the highway.