AT 79 years old, Dusit Zoo in Bangkok stands out as Thailand’s oldest zoological park, located next to the Parliament House and Dusit Palace. It was originally built for King Chulalongkorn as his private garden, opposite the palace.
However, the nearly eight-decade-old zoo could be moving from its historical site as King Maha Vajiralongkorn has given 300 rai of land – the equivalent of nearly 120 acres – in Pathum Thani to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to build a new zoo. It will also be home to new offices for the Zoological Park Organization, which is currently operating at Dusit Zoo.
The zoo is home to more than 2,000 animals, including tropical birds in the aviary, slithery reptiles and spindly spiders in the reptile house and furry friends from around the world including a rare white tiger.
The zoological park also has a lake, equipped with fun pedalos to cruise the waters after visiting the animals.
While the deputy director-general Suriya Saengpong said on Thursday the meeting being held next week would set a clear direction for the zoo, he avoided answering questions surrounding the zoo’s potential move.
The 120 acres of land gifted by the king to build a new zoo was one of nine plots given to government agencies to be used to develop public services.
Another idea to emerge since speculation of the zoo’s relocation began is that of building a ‘green zoo’. The idea is to build enclosures resembling the animals’ natural habitats and give them more space to roam.
Although the future of the zoo remains speculative for the time being, a spokesman has assured visitors that any rumors of the zoo’s immediate closure are entirely false, but a future relocation is definitive.
“We have to accept change as the bigger place means better opportunity for both the animals and the visitors; however, we are not closed, yet,” wrote the website admin.