The Zoo in Chiang Mai Thailand

  • Chiang Mai Zoo Aquarium Chiang Mai Zoo Aquarium
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  • Kawala at Chiang Mai Zoo Kawala at Chiang Mai Zoo
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  • Pandas at the Chiang Mai Zoo Pandas at the Chiang Mai Zoo
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A trip to Chiangmai Zoo is an excellent day out for children and adults alike and the entrance fee is very reasonable. It is a renowned center of research and conservation and is instrumental to the preservation of many endangered species.

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An American missionary called Harold Mason Young, who began collecting wild animals during his time teaching the Thai border police forest survival skills, established Chiangmai Zoo. He kept his menagerie in his large garden until it became overcrowded and he asked the Thai Forestry Department for land to open a zoo. In 1955 he was given 60 rai of land at the foot of Doi Suthep and the animals were relocated. In 1977 the Royal Zoological Society of Thailand took over the operation of the zoo and it became the first place in Thailand where visitors could observe animals close up in a simulated natural habitat

Today, the zoo is situated off Huay Kaew Road on 531 rai (250 acres) of hilly terrain in the shadow of Doi Suthep and is home to some 106 different species of mammal, 257 bird varieties and 31 reptiles. Some creatures including, the tiger and the remarkable but threatened serow are native to the country whilst others like the African Lion and Cape Fur Seal have been introduced. Its ideal location means that visitors can spend the morning wandering through the zoo followed by an afternoon enjoying the scenery in the cooler mountains.

The zoo comprises four areas: the cage area, the open zoo, in which you will encounter spotted deer, Hog deer, Barking Deer, Brow Anther deer, Alpaca and Peacocks, among other animals. The breeding area and the recreational area by a pleasant lake. This is an ideal spot for bird watching and also has picnicking and overnight camping facilities. A waterfall, Adventure station and nature trail are also located here. Staying overnight provides children with the opportunity to observe the nocturnal habits of some of the animals. Visitors have the option of walking through the grounds or driving for those less active. They can also travel by service car and benefit from the knowledge of the zoo guide. A network of well sign-posted and shaded paths connects the different sections and refreshments are readily available.


According to the Zoo Director Mr. Tanapat Pongpumarn the female panda, Lin Hui, is 70% certain to be pregnant judging from her behavior such as her growling has changed to sounding more like a goat. A female panda is fertile only three days per month. It's possible to implement artificial insemination if natural method fails. The Chiang Mai Zoo is now building an ice hill playground for the pandas. It will be the best environment for Lin Hui to raise her baby. A special nursery room will also be built and finished by January 2009. In May 2009 Lin Hui gave birth to a baby female cub. You can see the cub during your visit but they are only together a few hours a day.

The Chiang Mai Zoo Aquarium houses both salt water and fresh water fish. Most well known of the salt water fish on display are sea sharks while in the fresh water aquarium the massive pla buek from the Mae Khong River. These are so fascinating for western visitors to the zoo. The aquarium is similar to popular "underwater world theme parks". The two types of water will be separated by acrylic panel divider. The sea water will have the largest area about 120 meters in length. A motorized walkway takes you through tunnels where the fish surround you.

The most recent arrival to the Chiang Mai Zoo is the white lion which came before Songkran 2008. The young koala is popular with visitors. Adult koalas can mate easily. According to the web koalas are on the endangered list so the more born the better. There is a competition for the public to submit a name for the koala cub. Another competition for students is a photo competition. The subject is the koala mother posing with the cub so find out more about the competition and take photos youngsters.

During school break there are many families and children visiting the Chiang Mai Zoo. Western guests also visit the zoo in the rainy green season. Another popular time of year for visitors is the winter in Chiang Mai being a great fresh scented time to walk through the zoo's spacious hillside setting.
It's important for visitors to be in good behavior when visiting the pandas and all animals. Be mindful the animal residents do not like to be startled or hollered at. Photos can be taken but do not use the flash and remain calm around the animals.

There are many other attractions and exhibits to help keep visitors entertained, including the Humboldt Penguin enclosure and the fresh water Aquarium which is home to sixty different species of tropical fish, such as the Giant Mae Khong Catfish. There is also a small island inhabited by a colony of gibbons who live freely, unhampered by nets or cages and of course, there are many Asiatic Elephants.

Visitors can enjoy an elephant performance in which these remarkable creatures get to show off their dancing and harmonica playing skills much to everyone's amusement. Members of the public can also pat the elephants and feed them bananas. Another possibility is to take the Nakornping walk through the aviary with the chance to observe over 800 birds in 2.5 acres. Spending a day at the zoo is the perfect way to get acquainted with hippopotamus, zebra, giraffe, ostrich, Malayan tapir, sarus crane, barking deer and Indian rhinoceros. The list goes on and on.

A trip to Chiangmai Zoo is an excellent day out for children and adults alike and the entrance fee is very reasonable. It is a renowned center of research and conservation and is instrumental to the preservation of many endangered species. Visitors to the zoo can have a fantastic day out and feel confident that the animals are well looked after.

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