Dusit Zoo, or Khao Din Zoo, is the zoo in the centre of Bangkok and, as such, it did not inspire much confidence in visiting. Most zoos housed in capital cities tend to be lacking and have no room to expand. It's also the oldest zoo in Thailand, opening in 1938 and built by King Chulalongkorn. In 1954, the zoo was transferred to the Zoological Park Organisation (ZPO) and has since improved dramatically over the years from the original Victorian style barred cages of the past. The visit to the zoo was a pleasant surprise. There are 1300 animals within the park, most of whom live in decent enclosures with enrichment items and food suited to their individual needs.
First Visit: 29th April 2015
As it is in many places in Thailand, the main attraction is the white tigers, of which there are apparently two, along with six other Bengal tigers. The white tigers did take pride of the place and had the better of the two enclosures, though neither of them was lacking. Both areas had huge spaces and natural elements with trees, caves and plentiful water to enjoy. The white tiger enclosure also had a pulley system, which looked as though food or enrichment was winched along. This would allow for stimulation of hunting behaviours. All the tigers seemed to be enjoying their surroundings, utilising various parts, and all were very much at ease.
1st Visit: 29th April 2015
2nd Visit: 3rd Feb 2017
3rd Visit: 4th April 2018
Second Visit: 3rd February 2017
The second visit showed no changes in the enclosure style or the welfare of the tigers residing within. All tigers still appeared relaxed and disinterested with the watching visitors. There were, however, fewer tigers within the zoo itself.
Third Visit: 4th April 2018
Again, there were no changes in the design of the enclosure, nor the number of tigers out in them. For the last two years, it would appear that it was the same three tigers in all the enclosures. Still, there are no signs of stereotypy and the tigers remain relaxed. The enclosures are very clean and well-maintained, always provided with clean water.
How Many Tigers?
Each area comprised of an outside area and also a hidden den or night room at the back end of the enclosure
Each contained a pond or a moat for bathing all filled plentifully
Plentiful grass and natural vegetation
Contained natural enrichment, scratching posts and pulley systems for food enrichment
Caves and some platformed areas to climb
Very spacious areas
Physical & Mental Health
No overcrowding of areas
Body conditions - good
No injuries noted
No pacing to be observed
Natural behaviours such as scent marking, sniffing, patrolling territory, sleeping and eating were all observed. All positive natural behaviours
Tigers appeared relaxed and at ease with surroundings
What we are doing to help
At this time we are raising awareness for the situation of the captive tigers in Thailand through education of the public and through a number of different petitions.
Head to our Petition zone to see how you can help.