Dusit Zoo to close down end of August

The Dusit Zoo, a landmark of Bangkok for the  past 80 years, will be closed down at the end of August with all animals moved to six other zoos run by the Zoological Park Organisation of Thailand, Dusit Zoo’s public relations office annnounced.

After the closure of the Dusit Zoo, a new zoo will be built on a 300-rai plot of land in Khlong 6 area in Tambon Rangsit of Pathum Thani’s Thanyaburi district. The land has been donated to the Zoological Park Organisation of Thailand (ZPOT) by His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun.

Zoological park officials have divided some 1,600 animals in the Dusit Zoo into groups to decide which of the six zoos should house them. For instance, it was initially agreed that all the birds would be transferred to the Khao Khieo Open Zoo in Chon Buri.

They six zoos are: Khao Khieo Open Zoo in Chon Buri, Chiang Mai Zoo, Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo, Songkhla Zoo, Ubon Ratchathani Zoo and Khon Kaen Zoo.

The transfers of the animals to the six zoos are expected to be completed in 120 days.

The Dusit Zoo has about 1,600 wild animals from both inside and outside the country. It is opened everyday from 8am-6pm. The fares are 100 baht for adults, 20 baht for children and 60 baht for the elderly. Admission is free for monks and handicapped people.

The area where the Dusit Zoo is located now was formerly a botanical park called Suan Dusit or Khao Din Wana built by King Rama V, in 1895 on the east of Khlong Prem Prachakorn as royal property.

After the change of the country’s political system in 1932, the government received permission from King Rama 8 to turn it into a public park.

The Bangkok Municipality later moved various kinds of animals from other places to Suan Dusit or Khao Din Wana, which was officially transformed into the Dusit Zoo, the country’s first public zoo, on March 18, 1938 or 80 years ago.