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Monday was Labor Day.  While all the Thais went to work (thank you no traffic), Whitney and I did what we do in every new city - we went to the zoo.  Dusit Zoo is located in the western part of Bangkok near the Parliament building and Dusit Palace.  King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) built the zoo as his private garden.  After his death, the park remained unattended until the government asked Rama VIII to donate the land for a public zoo in 1938.  The King, gracious as he apparently was, donated deer and other animals.

The zoo a little smaller than most American zoos.  Still, there was a decent variety of animals. There were tons of birds, several big cats, penguins (yes, Chris...there are South American penguins), and lots of reptiles.  Most of the animals were native to Southeast Asia, but there were also some African species and lots of monkeys.  We did notice that the zoo's enclosures were not really first rate and even made taking pictures difficult.  Good thing we didn't bring our camera.

They also do a bunch of shows at the zoo.  We saw a seal show and an elephant show.  These were pretty typical but a lot of fun.  The seals did some acrobatic tricks, the elephants danced, and both played basketball.  The seal show was packed with Thai school children.  As we walked in, one turned around, looked at us, and started taking pictures.  At least he didn't call us Farangs. The handlers let us play with the elephants after their show, and then you could pay 20 baht to feed them.  There were no trainers around or anything for this part and the elephants were a little grabby.  I guess the elephant trainers don't teach manners.  Even though Whit already posted these on facebook, here are a few pictures with the elephants:

Seriously, the big elephant pushed the two smaller elephants out of the way to get more bread.

Then he tried to play nice.

"I'm touching an elephant!"

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