Updated: New zoo

26 07 2022

Readers will no doubt recall that back in 2017, King Vajiralongkorn wanted the land occupied by the Dusit Zoo as he created a vast royal precinct. He got it. Almost no one dared question the king’s whims.

In an “exchange,” the zoo was kicked out and moved to a 300-rai plot in Pathum Thani’s Thanya Buri district that was undeveloped. At the time the land was grabbed, not even the plans for the new zoo had been drawn up. That land was reported as being “granted” by the king. It was an unequal swap, but no one dared say so.

As the king gobbled up the land, some 1,000 or so animals in the Dusit Zoo were made homeless and transferred to other zoos around the country.

The cost to taxpayers – yet another “gift” to royals – is immense, and not just in terms of the loss of the ability to visit a parkland in the middle of the city. The area is now off limits. According to a report in the Bangkok Post, the cost over the past budget and the upcoming one is a staggering 9.6 billion baht.

And, the project won’t be complete until at least 2026.

Again, the taxpayer picks up the bill for a royal wish to aggrandize himself and his line.

Update: In one of the Bangkok Post’s recent pieces of palace propaganda, there’s a zoo article. Of course, it emphasizes the king’s “donation” of land for the new zoo and there’s repeated references to the “Zoological Park Organization of Thailand under Royal Patronage.” Emphasis in the article is on how good the new zoo will be compared to the old one. It is as if the king’s sudden demand for the old zoo for his personal whims never happened. That’s how palace propaganda works: erase the greed and make up stories about royal “greatness.” And, there’s a lot of this drivel around right now.





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