Former Honolulu Zoo director’s love for animals started with Africa trip

Former Honolulu Zoo director’s love for animals started with Africa trip

Ken Redman, a former Honolulu Zoo director who strived to produce animal displays with extra natural configurations, died Feb. 1. He was 80.

His wife, Evelyn Redman, reported he died at house surrounded by relatives. Redman experienced been battling a scarce neurological illness for the past two a long time, but up right until then experienced been balanced, lively and mentally sharp, she claimed.

He served as director of the Honolulu Zoo from 1993 until he retired in 2008. Redman commenced at the zoo as assistant director prior to getting to be director, serving a overall of 17 many years.

In the course of his tenure at the Waikiki attraction, Redman welcomed one particular of its most popular residents, Rusti the orangutan, and began arranging for a new elephant enclosure that is now property to Asian elephants Mari and Vaigai.

Daughter Julie Knowledge claimed her father liked all of the zoo’s animals and fought to get them into additional organic configurations. Redman worked on updating the zoo’s grasp system and envisioned replacing metal cages with “softer” habitats that positioned animals in
area-certain displays these kinds of as a tropical rainforest or African savanna.

The completion of a new naturalistic enclosure for Rusti was an accomplishment he was very pleased of just after the orangutan was rescued from a non-public facility and a modest concrete bunker.

“Watching him enter the exhibit, loll on the grass and climb a authentic tree for the first time in 20 several years offset all the petty issues that beset me in the course of action,” stated Redman in a quotation shared by Knowledge.

She reported her father generally finished up at the Honolulu Zoo on weekends, taking pleasure in remaining with the animals and looking at people getting a excellent time.

Redman was born
Feb. 15, 1942, in a small town in North Dakota. He earned a bachelor’s diploma in arithmetic and master’s degree in comparative psychology from the University of North Dakota.

Whilst serving in the U.S. Navy, Redman’s ship manufactured a port phone in Africa, in which he noticed elephants and other animals in the wild for the very first time, igniting a passion that would come to be his contacting in daily life, explained Evelyn

He grew to become head zookeeper at Dakota Zoo in
Bismark, N.D., and then normal curator of Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas ahead of using the reins at the Honolulu Zoo.

Africa was like a further residence to him, his spouse said, and Redman led safari excursions to Kenya and Tanzania at least at the time a 12 months, and after retirement, two to a few instances a calendar year.

Even in his past moments, he was arranging another excursion to Africa, she said.

Redman continued to guide a vibrant existence soon after retiring from the Honolulu Zoo, volunteering at the Pearl Harbor Countrywide Memorial and as a reader at the community Library Provider for the Blind and Print Disabled. He also audited a number of courses at the College of Hawaii at Manoa and was an avid reader — from classical literature to background and philosophy — and a prolific author, filling dozens on dozens of journals, in accordance to Wisdom.

Redman beloved languages and discovered new text through index playing cards on which he would generate a phrase on 1 side and the definition on the other, and keep a tally of the moments he remembered them. Knowledge explained he amassed thousands of index cards with phrases in English, Japanese, Swahili and Hawaiian.

“He was just variety, and that arrived from that he loved animals so significantly,” she mentioned. “There’s a gentleness you have to have if you really like animals.”

Redman is additionally survived by his son, Jeffrey his brother, Gary Redman and prolonged household.

Companies will be held later this 12 months in the Serengeti in Africa. In lieu of flowers, the spouse and children requests donations to the Mother nature Conservancy “and/or insert a trip to Africa to your bucket list.”