Saturday, November 5, 2011

Dusit Zoo prepares to move animals to Chon Buri zoo

Dusit Zoo prepares to move animals to Chon Buri zoo

The Dusit Zoo in the heart of Bangkok is preparing an evacuation plan for its animals in the face of looming floods.

Flood water has already covered a large part of the capital.

"If the flood water level rises to 50 centimetres, we will move some animals to the Khao Kheow Open Zoo," Dusit Zoo director Kanchai Sanwong said yesterday.

"If it rises to one metre high, we will evacuate tigers, lions, leopards and bears too," he said.

Spanning over 118 rai of land in Dusit district, the zoo is home to about 1,200 animals from 250 species.

"We have already evacuated between 3 and 4 per cent of the animals," Kanchai said.

Among the evacuated animals are two albino barking deer, 14 spotted dear and four common serows.

Kanchai said the zoo had prepared bamboo beds for the animals as dry spots in case flood water seeped in.

He believed the flood water level at the zoo would stay below 50 centimetres. Ponds in the zoo totalled over 30 rai in area and were ready to take in more water, he said.

The zoo has two weeks' worth of animal feed in stock.

"Should the flooding be prolonged, we can seek help from our allies such as the Khao Kheow Open Zoo," Kanchai said.

Khao Kheow Zoo is located in Chon Buri.

Dusit Zoo is still open to visitors between 8am and 6pm. The number of visitors, however, has dropped to around 400 a day, or one tenth of its usual level.

"We used to get many visitors during school breaks, but not during the current break," Kanchai said.

In Bangkok's Klong Sam Wa district, the vast Safari World has closed to the public as flood water has spread through most of its zones.

"We are now trying to protect the Marine Park zone," Safari World executive Amnat Kewkacha said, referring to sandbag walls being erected in the zone.
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