Chiang Mai ZooDuring my visit to Chiang Mai, Thailand I had the opportunity to visit many really interesting and historical sites.  

On one day I took a scooter and drove around discovering the many temples & even the hot springs in the backcountry while on another I took that same scooter up to the top of Doi Suthep (passing right by the zoo) and up to the temple and a small cloud village.  

Both trips were a lot of fun and I’d highly recommend anyone to do them.

But today I felt like taking it easy and, using the recommendation from my hostel host, I decided to take a trip up to the Chiangmai Zoo where I could feed hippos, examine the elegance of large predatorial cats and even see a panda amongst many other wild creatures.

In this photo essay series, I hope to portray several of the beautiful animals that are kept in captivity.  All in all, I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the zoo and although I did see a few things that I didn’t really approve of, I still decided to place both the beautiful and not so beautiful things in this photo essay for you to see.

Panda at the Chiang Mai Zoo

Chiang Mai Zoo Hippo IMG_8071 IMG_8075 IMG_8085 Chiang Mai Zoo Leopard Chiang Mai Zoo Bengal Tiger Chiang Mai Zoo Elephant Chiang Mai Zoo Jaguar Chiang Mai Zoo Bird IMG_8086 IMG_8119 IMG_8133 IMG_8141 IMG_8135 IMG_8182 IMG_8176 IMG_8174 IMG_8154

Chiang Mai Zoo Monkey

Upon completion of my visit to the zoo, my friends and I found out that we had spent an entire day exploring the property because of the sheer size of it.  The last time I had spent an entire day like this was at Busch Gardens.

It was totally worth the 100 baht entrance fee.  Like I said before, I really enjoyed my time but there were a few things I didn’t appreciate witnessing.  The elephant being chained up with her baby being the foremost important.

The only thing that I’d recommend NOT doing is feeding the elephants or going for a ride on their back as this would encourage the local people to keep using them as a tourist attraction for the foreigners coming through.  I’m no expert but I’m afraid for what may be going on “behind the scenes” for some of these animals including the elephants (this is the vibe I got from the caretakers anyhow).  

But overall it seemed to be a good days excursion and well worth the price of an admission ticket if you were looking to witness seeing many exotic animals that you normally wouldn’t find every day.  Whether you go or not is up to your discretion but it may be good to simply raise more awareness for the community of how such beautiful (and healthy animals) were in the enclosures.

What are your thoughts about keeping wild animals captive in a zoo?