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Dusit Zoo Dusit Zoo, 11 November 2009

Discussion in 'Thailand' started by Chlidonias, 11 Nov 2009.

  1. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    The Dusit Zoo in Bangkok officially opened in 1938 and despite its age its actually a very good zoo. I would say that it is easily the second-best zoo in Asia, and there are many things there that compare more than favourably with the more famous Singapore Zoo (not least that most of the enclosures are larger!). Singapore appears to have more money so it looks a bit flasher and there is more vegetation, but Dusit still stands up well in the comparison. I last visited here in 2006 and surprisingly for an Asian zoo (where things tend to stand still, getting neither better nor worse) I saw many instances of improvements in the last few years. The nocturnal house, which on my last visit I liked a lot for the amount of room given to its inhabitants but which I also criticised for the bare concrete floors and lack of furnishings, now has substrate or leaf-litter in almost all exhibits as well as branches etc. The reptile house still looks very good, with larger terrariums than seen in most zoos. There are what I believe are new exhibits scattered around the zoo, especially in the African area. A further improvement for the visitor is the massively-increased amount of signage, not just because they provide more information (much of it on a conservation theme), but they are also all now bilingual (in Thai and English) whereas there used to be just Thai ones. Some few things I can still criticise are the bird aviaries on Bird Island which aren’t bad but they are glass-fronted and situated in a manner that makes viewing and photography difficult with the reflections. The monkey cages look quite unpleasant, being bars and concrete but there’s no denying the success of their breeding programme for douc langurs of which they are very proud (I believe they have 25 of them in several troups – I have photos of the various douc signs which I’ll upload later). The cat cages are also fronted with bars, but heavily planted inside (and much larger than the Singapore Zoo equivalents). In fact many of the cages are now quite well planted, even the gibbons and sun bears, quite a difference to my 2006 visit. Really the Dusit Zoo is almost an aberration in Asian zoos – one that is not only good but that is actively getting better! A return trip in another three or four years may well provide even more surprises.
     
  2. Peter Dickinson

    Peter Dickinson Well-Known Member

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    You are very close. Are you heading my direction?
     
  3. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    that would depend on where your hat is hanging... :D

    actually I only had two days in Thailand and then back home, end of trip
     
  4. Peter Dickinson

    Peter Dickinson Well-Known Member

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    I was just along the coast. Looks ike I missed you
     
  5. Zooish

    Zooish Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, Dusit is an excellent zoo by Asian standards and it definitely has the space that Singapore sorely lacks. Khao Kheow is pretty good as well. Both zoos also seem to be more conservation focused as opposed to the other more commercially-driven Thai zoos such as Chiang Mai and Safari World.
     
  6. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I didn't think overly much of Khao Kheow (I was there in 2006). The over-riding impression I came away with was that it is a very large area of land but with enclosures and cages no bigger than any smaller Asian zoo has.
     
  7. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I have now uploaded a bunch of Dusit Zoo photos from one of my cameras, including the ones of the douc langur signage
    Dusit Zoo Gallery
     
  8. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    Dusit Zoo seems to have worked itself up to one of the premier zoos in SE Asia. I know they have active contacts with Singapore and they have heeded the call of enrichment and better exhibit design. Look forward to more improvements and perhaps even barless well-planted enclosures in future.

    It would help if us all alot if we would less criticise and look more at the wider picture whilst supporting those zoos that are making an effort. It seems most is borne of financial constraints and government disinterest.

    And yes, Khao Kheow Zoo is a good second. They have a wonderful breeding programme for clouded leopards ..... SSP sponsorred. If wish EEP would get in there as well .... It would be the forebearer of many nice projects in cooperation both ways.
     
  9. ralph

    ralph Well-Known Member

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    I will be visiting Bangkok for a few days this july. I am probably going to visit this zoo while I'm there, can't wait. Glad to read it's standards are quite high. Animal welfare is a main factor I won't visit Safari World!
    Mainland serow, douc langur, king cobra, adjutant, smooth-coated otter...it's gonna be great.

    Chlidonias, do you happen to know the collection in the nocturnal house, since I just adore noctornal houses and small mammals. I know they have slow loris and some kind of civet but it would be great if you could tell me more, also if there's any other rare species I should know about. Thanks!
     
  10. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I love nocturnal houses too and the one at Dusit is almost entirely populated with southeast Asian species (in 2006 I remember they also had African pigmy hedgehogs and sugar gliders). Unfortunately all my notebooks from my various trips are packed up in another city -- in fact I don't think I even kept notes from Dusit 2009 because I was very sick at the time -- so I can't help with specifics. All I remember off the top of my head for the nocturnal house are binturongs, brush-tailed porcupines and leopard cats.
     
  11. ralph

    ralph Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your reply. I just found a trip report with many photos from this zoo dated 2010. 3 species of civet, 3 species of palm civet, 2 species of slow loris, binturong, fourtoed hedgehog, asian brush-tailed porcupine, malayan porcupine, bat-eared fox and leopard cats as well as brown hawk owl were all photographed there. Sounds great. 7 of those are not kept in Europe, altho I've already seen one of them (malayan porcupine) in Bali.
     
  12. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    personally I don't think much of people who flash-photograph animals in nocturnal houses
     
  13. ralph

    ralph Well-Known Member

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    For who's interested, the following species are kept in the nocturnal house

    - Sugar glidar
    - Flying Fox
    - Four-toed hedgehog
    - Slow loris
    - Malayan porcupine
    - Asian brush-tailed porcupine
    - Bat-eared fox
    - Bengal leopard cat
    - Binturong
    - Large Indian civet
    - Small Indian civet
    - Common palm civet
    - Masked palm civet
    - Small-toothed palm civet
    - Hog badger

    Other species of interest in the zoo; lesser adjutant, milky stork, spot-billed pelican, bushy-crested hornbill, Sumatran serow, Fea's barking deer, red-shanked douc, Phayre's leaf monkey, smooth-coated otter, king cobra...
     
  14. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm positive they didn't have hog badger when I was there :( I would love to see one of those! I've seen Fea's muntjac at Chiang Mai (in 2006) but Dusit only had the common muntjac when I was there (in 2006 and 2009). I don't remember Phayre's leaf monkey either but they may have been there and I just missed them. Look like I'll have to go back again!!

    What did you think of the zoo in general ralph?
     
  15. alexkant

    alexkant Well-Known Member

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    To everyone who are looking information for Dusit zoo: zoo.asp
     
  16. ralph

    ralph Well-Known Member

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    The hog badger(s?) was/were previously kept in an outside enclosure - maybe it was the enclosure which is now the wombat exhibit? At least I've seen photos from dusit dating a few years back with the badgers in an outside enclosures.

    I liked the zoo. Not all enclosures are great, but none are really bad either. Worst exhibit was probably the penguin exhibit. It has a nice touch to it. I especially enjoyed the big waterbird aviary. There's a great collection in a wide variarity of (Asiatic) species in this zoo. I spend many hours in the zoo, more than I had anticipiated. And lots of credit to the education which is of a great quality. I'm not a fan of elephant shows, but this is Asia after all so I can't be bothered by it as much as I would if it was an European zoo.

    I took some photo's btw: Picasa Web Albums - Ralph Akkermans
     
  17. Jackwow

    Jackwow Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone know what species the giraffes are at Dusit Zoo?
     
  18. ralph

    ralph Well-Known Member

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    I believe it was 1.0 masai and 0.1 hybrid when I visited the zoo last year, but I'm not sure.
     
  19. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I remember the Douc Langurs at Dusit Zoo, from my one visit over twenty years ago. I remember what good condition they all seemed to be in, despite less than ideal housing, indicating to me that climate and suitable(natural) foodstuffs may well be far more important for their wellbeing than housing, for a 'delicate'(in European terms) species like this. The cages were very basic but quite tall and roomy if I remember.

    Overall I was expecting a Zoo in Bangkok to be pretty awful, but as others have mentioned above, was almost pleasantly surprised. Singapore Zoo is much more upmarket but rather bland IMO and the stagetype presentations of many species didn't help. I also visited ChangMai Zoo but my only memory of that was seeing a Serow for the first time.
     
  20. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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