The aloha world-famous Hawaii zoo is about to lose its heart and soul.
A federal judge has halted the city’s plans to demolish its famed Hawaii Island Zoo to make way for a new, privately owned zoo.
The city’s request to halt the planned demolition was filed Monday.
The lawsuit filed by the Hawaii Community Foundation says the zoo is endangered by the planned expansion of the Aloha Zoo, which will require the city to spend more than $100 million to protect its habitat.
“In order to preserve the Alohas unique, culturally diverse, and highly-regarded aloha culture, it is imperative that the Alahas Zoo be preserved for future generations,” the lawsuit reads.
“The relocation of the Hawaii Island Zoological Park and the Alahuas Aloha Center from its historic Hawaiian-themed home in the heart of the zoo would be a substantial and irreversible environmental damage.”
The city says the expansion is a key reason the city should not be allowed to proceed with the demolition.
The zoo is located in a community of about 500,000 people, about 20 miles north of Honolulu.
The zoo is home to more than 6,000 animals and about 300 species of plants and animals, including some endangered species.
It has a rich cultural history that dates back more than 1,000 years.
It’s also known as the Alokapu, meaning “a paradise” or “a land of dreams.”
The Aloha Island Zoo has been a national treasure since the 1800s, when Japanese explorers first explored the island.