Sunday, July 24, 2016

Dusit Zoo (สวนสัตว์ดุสิต) - Full Post on Thailand's Oldest Zoo @ Bangkok

This shall be a photo-intensive entry as i have way too many pictures despite breaking them up into bite-sized posts. To think that i was in the zoo for less than three hours!

So, let's now start with my photo entry on Dusit Zoo; a last minute decision made by our dear Alex as he wanted to do something more than just shopping and temples.

I, on the other hand, wasn't super keen as the weather was insanely hot and this vacation was labelled as one for relaxation using shopping therapy. In addition, seeing animals being caged up may distress rather than relax me, especially if living conditions were deemed to be less than favourable.

Whatever the case, a decision was made and there's no point in complaining; instead of doing that, i might as well be positive and for all you know, there's a chance i might really enjoy this attraction in the heart of Bangkok.

Tickets were purchased at 150 baht (equivalent to about S$6) per adult; it wasn't as cheap as Taipei Zoo yet when compared to our world famous Singapore Zoo, it's like an 80% discount!

Zoo map for your reference - i didn't cover the zoo in its entirety as the temperature was just too high for me to bear as the time neared to noon; bird island, as an example, wasn't visited.

Designed with the intention to replicate a Savannah, it shouldn't be too hard for one to guess exactly which animals would be housed within; from the photo, you should have noticed the giraffes and zebras!

Although i am already 36 years old, i remained in awe of the towering giraffe; how could an animal reach such a towering height, most of which was due to the neck?!

Taking the stairs to the sky walk as i have always preferred a vantage view when taking photos.

Nothing much to see except for a row of fake animal statues overlooking the main road we entered from; most of which would require a new coat of painting.

The unsheltered link way brought us to the next attraction; the monkey enclosures!

Information on the long tailed macaques that are relatively common in Singapore's nature reserves; what i didn't know was that the macaques have cheek pouches in their mouths, similar to hamsters, where they store food.

Sad eyes from a douc langur; as primates ourselves and a strong believer in reincarnation, i understand the educational benefits of zoos but i do feel for the animals themselves as they are no longer free per se, at least in anthropomorphic terms.

Of course, one can have the old argument if animals indeed have feelings and even if they do, the "sacrifice" of a few would result in a greater good; passing valuable information to young humans, in the hope they could do more to protect the species when they are older.

Singapore Zoo is unarguably one of the better zoos in the region with their aim to emulate the "real" surrounding, where possible even though it is also constrained by space given how small Singapore is.

Nowadays, reputable zoos are trying to do the same as Singapore Zoo does. Dusit Zoo is no exception although in the above case for the pointy-eared caracal, maybe too well as there were too many shrubs and trees!

I am a confused human myself; on one hand, i couldn't stand animals being cages up and placed in hard, cold metal cages yet on the other hand, i will grumble if i don't see the animals!

Due to the hot weather, i believe the orang utans would likely be staying in their sheltered dens where they can be shielded from the sun.

Signs informing visitors not to feed the animals. It's a perennial issue anywhere; in Singapore Zoo, i remember a sun bear that would happily "beg" you for sweets; a truly adorable sight, i admit.

Tiger zone! Please click here to read further on the time i felt so envious of the tiger sitting in the pool of water. Photoshop the photos a bit and you may see a tiger going through a relaxing, onsen experience.

Water park - think it's yet to be completed. Nowadays, in order to attract families with young kids, it's quite common to have such facility. In Singapore, even shopping centres are resorting to reserving a big space specifically as a playground for kids.

Leopard, cheetah or jaguar? The spots on the feline would give you the answer.

White lion exhibit - as indicated in the poster, white lions are not albino. I have mentioned before on the term leucism in my reptile posting; check it out here.

Basking in the sunlight - i would do the same thing if i am at a beach!

Could you spot the black panther?

The zoomed in function and with a little help from photoshop, to increase the brightness, i can see that the panther had me in his sight; likely as prey

On quite a number of occasions, i couldn't see the animals housed within and sometimes, the enclosure could be rather large and there's like only one animal.

In this instance i spotted only one chimpanzee and it appeared to be snoozing!

Information in braille for the visually impaired.

Trams for those who were too lazy to walk / couldn't manage long distance. As cheapo individuals, we prefer to use our two legs.

What relevance would you draw from the dinosaur statues? Reptiles! This is the spot for the reptile terrarium exhibit which includes crocodiles, snakes, tortoises, lizards etc. To read more, click here.

Commercial entities, including KFC! Remembering Alex had the tendency to crave for fast food when he's overseas, i needed to divert to his attention.

And in this sunny weather, nothing's better than ice cream! It's ridiculously that Singaporeans are paying so much for their ice cream; a magnum here in a tourist attraction was halved the price we paid at home!

Chocolate would be too heaty and we went with our childhood favourites; the lime with vanilla ice cream that gave us the sourness, followed by sweetness. Shiok!

Asiatic Black Bear - it looked disturbed and seemed to be gauging the distance across the water moat. If i am it, i would also be thinking on how to escape this small place.

Meal diet for the asiatic black bear - the problem with science is that most things are prepared according to your nutritional requirements although in the real bear world, i doubt they would seek out boiled chicken thigh and cooked eggs.

Take a picture with the bears; fake ones though.

According to the panel, this was supposed to be the sun bear exhibit but despite looking left to right, i couldn't catch a glimpse of the world's smallest bear.

What i did find was a murder of crows! Crows are considered as pest issue in many countries and they are said to be very intelligent. Metaphorically speaking, humans might be considered as pests too in an environment with cleverer species.

Poor sun bear was hiding in a corner; either it was frightened of the aggressive crows or that meal time was coming.

Hippopotamus - one of Africa's top five most dangerous animals!

The close proximity of the zoo to roads with constant traffic. Unlike Singapore Zoo which was about one or two kilometers away from the main road, i believe the noise level at Dusit would likely affect the well-being of the animals; imagine having hyper sensitive hearing.

Another two more hippos! There were three in Dusit (Mali, Ma-Kham and Tua-Dang) of which the latter two were borne in the zoo. In one of the information panel, it was said that Ma-Kham, when frightened, will "shake the body and run away with her mouth wide open"! That must be quite a funny sight!

Underwater water viewing gallery for the hippos.

I think i did mention before that due to the similarity of hippo's skin to braised pork, there were a few years i didn't dare to touch dishes with braised pork. Just in case you are wondering if hippo's meat is edible; it was said to be delicious!

World War II air raid shelter in the zoo! Click here

Marine Monsters! What creatures do you think are lurking inside? For an answer, click here. p.s. i bet you would be sorely disappointed, as i was.

Malayan Tapir with its iconic snout!

The list of 15 reserved animals in Thailand - elephant, the national animal of Thailand is surprisingly not included. By reserved, it meant "prohibited by law to hunt, breed, possess or trade any of such species".

Fea's muntjac - one of the reserved animals and said to be a rare species of the barking deer.

Something else stood out as i panned my camera to the fea's muntjac's enclosure; a white deer! Named "petch", she was claimed to be the world's first albino and presented to the Queen by the Tak province.

A game counter for kids to answer easy questions in exchange for free gifts. You know what, Alex went ahead to participate too!

Eld's Deer - it was mentioned that in captivity, eld's deer are often "alarmed by the smallest disturbance". I don't know but judging from the observation, maybe it's best to release them in the wild?

Lake in the middle of Dusit Zoo where you can partake in boat paddling! As modern humans have too many electronic gadgets on them, it's inherently a risk to take up the activity!

Birds' droppings on the floor!

A mini kid's arcade - kind of weird to have this in a zoo; wouldn't the often-deafening noise from the rides be disturbing to the most important stakeholders? The animals.

Fountain; how i wish i could soak in its water.

Dusit Zoo Gallery; it's air conditioned and henceforth, warranted a visit by two men who were on the verge of collapse due to sunstroke.

It's a photo gallery showcasing old photographs; the one with the hippos appeared to be taken in the 80s when i wasn't even a teen. Back then, visiting the zoo was a huge treat and without the internet and limited access to books, we were literally blown away by the extensive display of live animals, many of which we didn't know the names to.

Another playground for the kids.

Judging from the top to bottom metal mesh, i presumed this was the aviary and i was hoping we can go into the compound and sing with the birds.

There's an entry point but access was granted for zoo employees only. :( Oh well, i can still see the bats pretty clearly from the outdoor pavement on the side and if i choose to sing, no one would complain as we were the only two lonesome humans around.

Oriental Pied Hornbill - those in Singapore can see this beautiful bird in the great outdoors at Pulau Ubin. I chanced upon two of there in my 2012 cycling trip.

Peacock - i can imagine him being full of envy as he would love to get out too! You can get plenty of peacocks roaming freely at Sentosa; just don't provoke them as they can be quite territorial.

Bactrian Camels - the strange thing about this camel species, aside from its double hump, is that there are only about 1,000 of them in the wild yet in the domestic / captivity world, there are about 1.4 million of them.

Another view of the zoo's lake - someone had paid for the paddling boat!

This neoclassical building was in sharp contrast with traditional Thai architectural-style buildings and upon checking google map, i got to know that it is the completed-in-1915 Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall.

Unknown birds (herons, maybe) on top of the tree that should be near to the Bird Island - the attraction we skipped. 

Familiar? Local Singaporeans might draw comparison with the supertrees we have at Gardens at the Bay. It's been a while since i last visited; maybe i should bring my parents for a revisit soon. 

Elephant House - housing Thailand's national animal. For a national animal, i am quite befuddled by the way elephants are being treated in Thailand as i thought they should revered but instead, there were many stories on cruelty meted by the mahouts. 

All the while, the elephants i have seen with my own eyes belonged to the Asian species. The African species was taller with larger ears!

I expected a lot more elephants even though this might not be an elephant sanctuary but counting my fingers, there were only two. 

Kuay Ethnic Exhibition - a group of people famed for their skills in training and taming elephants and the above was a typical Kuay dwelling. 

Originally thought to be a building feature to cater for flooding, the elevated house had a more noble purpose and that's to shelter their elephants!

Another aviary.

Wombat Exhibit - i love this marsupial as they looked really cute and cuddly even though i doubt there's a chance to have them as pets. 

NOTHING AT ALL - thanks to a sign which pointed to the caves with a reminder that wombats would likely to be in the caves on a hot day. And it was a hot day.

Here it is! 

Cassowary - known as the world's most dangerous birds, there's a strange fact i gathered from the informative panel; the cassowary eggs are naturally green in colour! 

Petrified Wood - guess the wizardry world has already dropped by for a visit. 

Museum of Thailand's Zoological Park Organisation (ZPO); in my honest opinion, this would be the natural history museum of Thailand with stuffed animals and skeletons. 

Remember the game that Alex played together with the kids? His prize was a bag pin of the Malayan Tapir and he proudly showed it in the above picture. 

Penguin House - from memory, the penguin enclosure had always been the coldest place in a zoo / bird park and i was so looking forward to be cooled down. 

I happily jumped up the stairs and this was the scene ahead of me. It's obviously not an air-conditioned facility and you should have seen the disappointed expression on my face. :( 

Reminded me of Mumble from Happy Feet.

Limited penguins in the enclosure; i did notice a few near the water appeared to be making the pool their personal latrine with a few shots of white poo. 

Spotted Deer.

Seal show but we missed the timing. Another controversial issue with zoo is the animals shows although the cruel fact is that visitors love it and to have them might make it easier for the zoo to pass down the conservation message.

Beware of bees - i am unsure if the word "bees" in this case are used correctly as many a time, the hornets are the one nesting in the vicinity! 

Let's go for some live action; feeding the water monitors and the humongous catfishes! For more photographs, click here

Budgerigar - known affectionately as budgies by pet lovers, this was also in my pet-consideration as the size was rather small and you can in fact teach them to talk! 

By the way, we had arrived at the children zoo! Twenty over years ago, the children zoo concept was particularly well received due to a closer proximity to animals and sometimes, the possibility to touch them too! Do exercise caution as the animals might not like you to touch them! 

Capybara - largest rodent in the world! 

Noticed that seemingly missing horn in the middle? That's one of the scent glands known as morillo with males featuring a much larger morillo. 

Guinea pigs - commonly kept as pets, i used to sell them when i was working in pet lovers centre. They vocalised loudly, especially when they were hungry! 

Tanks and tanks of fishes.

You can feed the goats here too at 20 baht a bottle; the same pricing as the one we saw outside esplanade mall (near to the Ratchada train market)!  

Nocturnal animals in the house - mixed feelings as i know the place would likely be an arena of coolness yet the low light environment would mean i couldn't taken decent photographs, at least not with my amateur skill. 

Photo for bat-eared fox turned out okay. 

Other than that, everything else turned out to be a blur! 

Pygmy hippopotamus - in relation to their much larger cousin, the pygmy hippo was unknown until the 19th century as it was concentrated in a smaller part of Africa and reclusive in the wild. 

Nyalas - Horned is a male while the other could be female or a young. See that stripe in between the eyes? Known as chevron, both male and female nyalas have that. 

Ending the post (finally) with the meerkat! 

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Location
IBT No.71,Rama 5 Road,
Dusit 10300, Thailand

Ticketing Price
Adult - 150 Baht
Kid - 70 Baht

Dusit Zoo Map
As above


For my relaxing 6 days, 5 nights Bangkok itinerary, please click here. :)

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