Dusit Zoo was originally a botanical garden called “Khao Din Wana”. King Rama V, during his foreign country visits became impressed of botanical gardens as a place for entertainment and relaxation of people, and so His Majesty advised that a botanical garden should be established in Thailand.
In 1895, His Majesty gave royal permission for the garden to be built on land east of Premprachakorn canal, across from Chitrlada Palace. A large lake was dug up with connecting canals and roads, dirt excavated from the digging was piled into a mountain in the middle of the garden, hence the name “Khao Din” which means earth mountain. Various trees were planted and called “Wana” which means forest. And so the whole area was called “Khao Din Wana”.
At first, the garden was part of the palace compound and used for the private enjoyment of the royal family and palace staff. Later, during King Rama VII‘s reign, His Majesty advised that this garden should be expanded and improved for the enjoyment of the general public.
After Thailand changed from and absolute into a constitutional monarchy in 1932, Prime Minister P. Piboonsongkram asked royal permission of King Rama VIII, passed into law the designation of the areas of “Khao Din Wana”, “Sanam Sua Pa” and “Suan Umporn” into a public park.
The Bangkok municipality then transferred Axis Deer and various animals from Suan Umporn, crocodiles and monkeys from Suan Saranrom into the zoo. A request was also made for royal elephants from the palace to be shown at the zoo on Sundays. After all the renovations were finished, the zoo was open to the public on March 18th, 1983 and henceforth officially called “Dusit Zoo”.