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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                     April 12, 2005

Release M-30




            Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann today announced that site preparation has begun for a new home for Rusti, the Honolulu Zoo’s orangutan.


            With half a million dollars in private donations, construction will begin this week on a spacious new exhibit and holding quarters for the half-Sumatran, half-Bornean orangutan, who, since 1997, has been living in smaller quarters.


            “Rusti is far and away one of the most popular attractions in the Honolulu Zoo,” Hannemann said.  “After too many false starts, I’m happy to announce that within the next few months, he’ll have a new place to call home.”


            Plans call for a new 7,500-square-foot exhibit, more than 20 times larger than Rusti’s old exhibit space.   There will be two bedrooms and a day room, giving Rusti a total available space of 8,168 square feet.


            “Thanks go to the Honolulu Zoo Society, the Rose Vincent Trust, and the Orangutan Foundation International for their generous donations,” Hannemann said.  “With this kind of cooperation from private entities, we can build Rusti the exhibit and quarters he needs and make this attraction one of which we can all be proud.


            “Along that line,” Hannemann said, “we will soon convene a group of stakeholders who will evaluate the feasibility of forming a public-private partnership for operation of the zoo.  I will call on members of city departments, the Honolulu City Council, the Honolulu Zoo Society and others to discuss the possibilities of entering into partnerships with the private sector to see whether that may be a better way to operate the Honolulu Zoo.





              Bill Brennan, 527-6928

              Mark Matsunaga, 527-5784


Tuesday, April 12, 2005

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