Everyone knows that the king wants the land that the zoo is on. What no one seemed to report until now is that he wants it now! Of course, the media doesn’t report it this way. They don’t dare.
It is clear that the zoo began as a private zoo for royals and in 1938 that the “constitutional government asked King Rama VIII’s regency council to give this park to the Bangkok City Municipality to be open as a public zoo.”
By that we guess the zoo’s land belongs to the state or the Bangkok municipality. But like some other properties that once belonged to royals, they have somehow gravitated back to their ownership.
The story back in December seemed to be that the zoo would be transferring to a “300-rai plot [another report says 3,000 rai, but 300 is most widely reported] in the Klong Hok area of Pathum Thani’s Thanya Buri district, to be used for the new zoo.” That land was “granted” by the king. Others might consider it an unequal swap, but no one dares say so.
Now it seems that the 1,000 or so animals in the Dusit Zoo will all have to be transferred to other zoos around the country because not even the plans for the new zoo have been drawn.
No surprise there as back when the news first leaked, the Zoological Park Organization:
emphasised the royal grace of HM the King Rama X, who offered the larger land plot to develop the new modern zoo and enhance the ability to welcome more visitors, promote outdoor education for students and improve the wellbeing of the animals.
But “it did not specify a closure date for Dusit Zoo, the opening date of the new zoo or other details on the relocation plan yet.”
The ZPO now says the zoo “will close its gates for good at the end of this month…”.