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AP Photos: Zoo that recalled old Bangkok soon just a memory | TribLIVE.com
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AP Photos: Zoo that recalled old Bangkok soon just a memory

The Associated Press
| Saturday, September 29, 2018 10:00 a.m
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In this Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 photo, a White Bengal tiger stretches as it yawns at Dusit Zoo in Bangkok. Bangkok’s 80-year-old Dusit Zoo has the kind of old-fashioned charm that creates family memories in a global capital chock-a-block with shiny shopping malls. The zoo itself will soon be just a memory. The entry gates shut for the last time Sunday, Sept. 30, and more than 1,200 animals will be moved around the country until a more spacious facility is built in Bangkok's northern suburbs. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)
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In this Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018 photo, schoolchildren from Thailand's southern province of Pattani province are greeted by visiting Kenyan performers at Dusit Zoo Bangkok, Thailand. Dusit Zoo, housed in what was once part of a royal estate belonging to the Thai monarch will relocate to a new location in a land granted by King Vajiralongkorn, Thai government announced. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)
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In this Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018 photo, visitors paddle boats in a lake at Dusit Zoo, as the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall in Bangkok, Thailand, looms over them in the background. Bangkok’s 80-year-old Dusit Zoo has the kind of old-fashioned charm that creates family memories in a global capital chock-a-block with shiny shopping malls. The zoo itself will soon be just a memory. The entry gates shut for the last time Sunday, Sept. 30, and more than 1,200 animals will be moved around the country until a more spacious facility is built in Bangkok's northern suburbs. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)
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In this Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018 photo a seal swims close to an aquarium glass as visitors gather for a closer look following a Seal show at the Dusit Zoo in Bangkok, Thailand. After in operation for 80 years, Dusit zoo will be closed permanently from September 30, 2018. Its more than 1,000 animals are to be sent to other zoos around the country till a new facility being constructed north of the capital in Pathum Thani province. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)
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In this Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 photo, a woman poses for a picture with a hippopotamus with a wide-open mouth at the Dusit Zoo in Bangkok, Thailand. After in operation for 80 years, Dusit zoo will be closed permanently from September 30, 2018. Its more than 1,000 animals are to be sent to other zoos around the country till a new facility being constructed in north of the capital in Pathum Thani province. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)
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In this Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018 photo a child poses for a picture standing next to female hippopotamus named Mali at the Dusit Zoo in Bangkok, Thailand. Mali has given birth to 14 offspring and is the oldest hippo in Thailand. During the hot summer days, she naps most the time in her enclosure from which she is separated from visitors by tempered see-through glass.(AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Bangkok’s 80-year-old Dusit Zoo has the kind of old-fashioned charm that creates family memories in a global capital chock-a-block with shiny shopping malls.

The zoo itself will soon be just a memory. The entry gates shut for the last time Sunday, and more than 1,200 animals will be moved around the country until a more spacious facility is built in Bangkok’s northern suburbs.

Visitors over the years could ride a paddle boat with a sweetheart or join the youngsters on the zoo’s small train, shouting the names of the animals as the rail cars rolled by the enclosures.

Naturally, they could get to know the zoo’s residents, like 53-year-old hippopotamus Mali, who has given birth to 14 offspring and is the oldest of her kind in Thailand. On hot days, Mali naps near a glass wall in the water at the edge of her enclosure, giving her human admirers an opportunity for a photo close-up. They could watch Malayan sun bears, the smallest bear species and native to Southeast Asia’s tropical forests, attempt to catch bananas thrown by handlers.

Visitors could also soak up Thai history. Dusit Zoo originally was a botanical garden for the royals who lived in a nearby palace. The gardens were converted to a public park after Thailand became a constitutional monarchy in 1932 and then became the Dusit Zoo in March 1938. During World War II, an air raid shelter was built there.

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