Hawaii Wildlife Center to open next month

Thursday, October 6th, 2011
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Public Invited to Celebration on November 19, 2011

Following years of fundraising, grant writing, designing and permitting, and hundreds of hours of volunteer efforts, the Hawaii Wildlife Center will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

“It has indeed been a long and rewarding journey. There are far too many individuals, companies and organizations to thank but on behalf of our board of directors, we are enormously grateful and excited to finally be opening our doors and implementing our vision,” said Linda Elliott, Hawaii Wildlife Center President and Director. Elliott adds that the public is invited to attend the grand opening.

Kumu Hula Raylene Ha’alelea Kawaiaea will conduct the blessing and invited dignitaries will be given the opportunity to express their support of the Hawaii Wildlife Center. Following the symbolic untying of a maile lei, Kohala Middle School students will provide tours of the facility for guests. There will be performances by haumana (students) of Kohala Hula Halau Kalaniumi Aliloa O Hawaii Nei and entertainment by Na Hoku Hanohano and Grammy award-winning slack key guitarist John Keawe.

Fundraising is ongoing for Hawaii Wildlife Center to ensure there are sufficient monies to operate, provide staffing and develop programs.

The HWC’s mission – to protect, conserve and aid in the recovery of Hawaii’s native wildlife through hands-on treatment, research, training, science education and cultural programs – will be achieved through the integrated operation of three related components: the wildlife treatment facility, an interpretive lanai and an education pavilion. The 4,500 square foot building includes rooms for wildlife intake, holding, washing, drying, food preparation, lab work, medical treatment and isolation. The HWC’s location on just over two acres of land provides sufficient space for an outdoor Recovery Yard. Public visitation is welcomed to enhance awareness of conservation issues and challenges. The Education pavilion will be used for training, public lectures and related projects including opportunities for collaboration with the Kohala School Complex for hands on learning programs in math, science and conservation both during and after school.

On November 19 the Hawaii Wildlife Center becomes the first state-of-the-art response facility in the Pacific islands exclusively for native wildlife. The HWC will provide for the best achievable medical and husbandry care for sick, injured, contaminated and orphaned native wildlife, including those affected by natural and man-made disasters and by returning those successfully treated animals back to the wild.

Visit www.HawaiiWildlifeCenter.org to learn more or to make a donation.