Panaewa Car Accident on Highway 11

A car accident at the turn off to the Panaewa Zoo is slowing traffic down on Highway 11 right now.

Panaewa wreck

Photo via Hugh Broughton

World’s Stinkiest Flower Begins to Bloom on the Big Island of Hawaii – Corpse Flower Attracting Flies

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation invites the public to the Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens to witness a “corpse plant” that has started its rare blooming phase.

The Corpse Plant blooms at the Panaewa Zoo.

The Corpse Plant blooms at the Panaewa Zoo.

When in full bloom, the giant rainforest plant amorphophallus titanum releases sulfur that smells like rotting corpses to attract pollinating insects. That’s why it’s known as the “corpse plant.”

Full bloom is expected to occur at the zoo on Friday, September 6, and last 48 hours. Blooming frequency varies greatly, often taking place only once every decade.

The Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens has two corpse plants that artist Hiroshi Tagami donated in 2002. One of the plants bloomed in 2011, attracting large crowds of curious onlookers. The other, “Stinky 2,” is growing in the exhibit located next to the zoo’s feral pig and across from the large mixed-parrot aviary.

Located off of Stainback Highway about five miles south of Hilo, the 12-acre Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens is the only natural tropical rainforest zoo in the United States. More than 100 palm varieties and 80 animal species, including Nēnē geese and Namasté, a white Bengal tiger, can be found at the zoo. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, except on Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is free.

For more information, please call 959-7224 or email


Namaste the Tiger on the Big Island Gets Nasty!

There is a white tiger named Namaste at the Panaewa Zoo on the Big Island here in Hawaii and apparently he doesn’t have much manners!


You know a tiger doesn’t want to be photographed when he does this!


Namaste – It is a customary greeting when individuals meet, and a valediction upon their parting.

The Corpse Flower Blooms on the Big Island of Hawaii

The Hawaii Tribune has reported that the Corpse Flower at the zoo has begun to bloom:

The bizarre corpse plant, on loan to Hilo’s Panaewa Rainforest Zoo, has started to bloom, zoo Director Pam Mizuno said Saturday afternoon.

Corpse Flower

Corpse Flower (Image from Wikipedia)

Wikipedia has this to say about the strange plant:

Due to its odor, which is reminiscent of the smell of a decomposing mammal,the titan arum is also known as a carrion flower, the “Corpse flower”, or “Corpse plant” (Indonesian: bunga bangkai – bunga means flower, while bangkai means corpse or cadaver; for the same reason, the same title is also attributed to Rafflesia which, like the titan arum, also grows in the rainforests of Sumatra).

There are other Corpse Flowers throughout the world and another one is blooming right now in Basel, Switzerland.  It’s the first time in 75 years that it has bloomed in Switzerland.

Here is a time lapsed video of it blooming:


Mayor Kenoi to Join in Community Service at Panaewa Zoo

Media Release

WHO: East Hawaii Kiwanis Club, Mayor Billy Kenoi, and Key Club, Kiwins, and Builders Club members from Hilo High, Hilo Intermediate, Waiakea High and Waiakea Intermediate schools.

WHAT: Community Service Project

WHEN: 9:30 a.m. to noon, Monday, February 16 (Presidents Day)

WHERE: Panaewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens (

Mayor Billy Kenoi will celebrate Presidents Day on Monday with the East Hawaii Kiwanis Club and more than one hundred members of the club’s sponsored youth programs in a volunteer community service landscaping project at the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens.

The Kiwanis Club and its sponsored youth clubs have helped the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo since 2001 when club volunteers erected the building that houses the petting zoo, a project that won the Governor’s Kilohana Award for volunteerism in 2001. Since then the club has returned three to four times a year to help landscape and maintain the zoo’s grounds.

Kiwanis Club members and the sponsored youth volunteers will be digging, planting, fertilizing, weeding and doing other chores on zoo grounds from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Monday, February 16, 2009, which is Presidents Day, a federal holiday. A luncheon in the Zoo pavilion will follow. Mayor Kenoi is a member of the Kiwanis Club, an international organization of community volunteers that emphasizes service to children and youth.

Also participating in Monday’s community service project will be Dan Connolly of Santa Clara, California, Kiwanis International’s District Governor representing California, Nevada and Hawaii.

The County’s Panaewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens is the only tropical rainforest zoo in the United States, located on a 12-acre, site located just off Highway 11 between Hilo and Keaau.