James Castle McIntosh peeled away the skin to reveal to Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris a $1 million donation made to the Honolulu Zoo by the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation during ceremonies yesterday afternoon.

$1-million gift helps
zoo toward major revamp

By Pat Gee

With a $1 million donation from the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, the Honolulu Zoo is well on its way to reaching its $5.8 million goal to transform the facility into "a jewel in the crown of Waikiki," said capital campaign Chairman Sharon Weiner.

The improvements on the 42-acre facility will include:

>> A Hawaiian Island experience, featuring native animals, plants and culture.

>> A Discovery Zone, with an education building, an interactive animal center, a new amphitheater and the Rainforest Adventure Camp Playground.

>> An Animal Health Center, providing a new modern veterinary clinic and quarantine facilities for new animals.

>> A more distinctive zoo entrance and landscaping.

The zoo plans to eliminate wire cages and concrete floors while incorporating flora and fauna unique to Hawaii.

Construction is expected to begin this year and be completed in three to five years.

At the zoo yesterday, Weiner, representing the Honolulu Zoo Society, and city officials thanked the Castle Foundation and other donors who have given a total of $1.9 million.

Castle Foundation President James Castle McIntosh presented the award.

Other major contributions included $150,000 from the Atherton Family Foundation, $100,000 from the McInerny Foundation and $100,000 from the Cooke Foundation. Zoo Society members Sandy and Michael Hartley donated $100,000, and Dr. Mark Bogart, $250,000.

Weiner said the goal for 2004 is $5.8 million, 20 percent of the long-term goal of $29 million.

Mayor Jeremy Harris said the city has pledged to come up with the 80 percent balance.

He said the city has already appropriated $6.1 million this fiscal year and was confident the zoo improvements would continue to receive "strong support from the City Council."

There are 1,250 animals at the zoo, which are viewed by 560,000 visitors per year.

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