Bangkok – A large crowd visited Dusit Zoo, locally known as Khao Din Wana on its last day, tripling the number of visitors compared to the normal period. Officials will now begin the process of relocating 1,088 animals to their new homes. The move is expected to be completed within 120 days.
Visitors to the zoo, young and old, have been taking pictures, visiting their favorite wildlife enclosures and buying various souvenirs to keep them as a memento of their visits to the long established zoo.
Many have expressed sadness at the closure of Dusit Zoo. Some of them told the media that they had visited the zoo since childhood. Most of them accept that the relocation is simply a product of time. They said they will cherish the memory of the Kingdom’s first zoo.
Dusit Zoo will now begin moving all of its animals to six zoos under the supervision of the Zoological Park Organization under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King, namely Khao Kaew zoos in Chiang Mai, Nakhon Ratchasima, Songkhla, Ubon Ratchathani, and Khon Kaen. These animals are expected to be moved again to their new home which will be constructed on a 300-rai site in Rangsit Klong 6 in Thanyaburi District of Pathum Thani Province. The new establishment will be three times the size of Dusit Zoo.
Officials also remarked on the recent number of visitors, saying that over past months the number reached the 318,000 mark. The figure from September 1st to 28th stood at about 180,000 visitors.
Dusit Zoo was originally a botanical garden called “Khao Din Wana ”. His Majesty King Rama the Fifth, during his foreign country visits became impressed by European botanical gardens as places of entertainment and relaxation for the people, and decided that a botanical garden should be established in Thailand. In 1895, His Majesty gave royal permission for the garden to be built on land east of Premprachakorn canal, across from Chitrlada Palace.
A large lake was dug with connecting canals and roadways; soil excavated in the digging process was piled up into a mountain in the middle of the garden, hence the name “Khao Din” meaning earth mountain. Various trees were planted and called “Wana” which means forest. And so the whole area was called “Khao Din Wana”.
Dusit zoo had been in operation for eight decades.