25.4.11: Chiang Mai Zoo

At 8 am, we left for Chiang Mai Zoo. We must have been the earliest there. There wasn't anyone at the ticket booth yet.

The zoo was a huge place and it wasn't possible to see just by walking as certain places are quite hilly. One can choose to board a tram or a monorail. We sat on a tram. 

The place was beautifully lanscaped.
The trams here are beautifully decorated with lovely paintings of animals.
The highlight of the zoo was the panda bears. They were in their enclosure beside the snow dome.

During our visit there, we only got to see the baby panda bear. Its parents had gone for a check-up that morning, and weren't at their enclosure.  

I love the wooden and natural panda bear playground. Wish I can have this playground  at home for the boys. 
The home of the daddy and mummy panda. 

There was even a playground in the zoo. 
The seal show was short but fascinating. The seals could even dive into the water to collect paper money  thrown into the water by the visitors. 
This elephant came right up to our tram by itself, ate some bananas offered by the visitors and then walked back to its enclosure, all on its own. Impressive! There probably was a mahout nearby, but he wasn't prominent and the elephant seemed to walk independently to our tram. 
People are allowed to feed the penguins for a fee.  They need to wear the boots provided, wash their hands and wear gloves, before holding the fish. 
This poor penguin observed its friends through the glass window rushing for the fish given. It tried to go there but was stopped by the glass panel. It looked so dejected that it couldn't get to the food and I felt pity for it. Suddenly, the penguin had an idea. It dove into the water and swam next door to where the people were giving out the food. It pushed the other penguins and managed to get a fish immediately. Such a clever penguin. 
The final presentation that we attended was the "Multi Aminal Presentation". The presentation started with 3 little pink pigs running up sides of the steps, around to the back (around the audience, really) and running down the steps back to the performance area. Then they jumped hurdles and through hoops.  
Even the pigs could put up a performance.

Then these bearcats, came up balancing on the pole, near the audience who were seated below. 
There was an impressive performance by the parrots. They could collect money from the visitors and fly back to their master. The person has to put out his / her hand straight sideways and the parrot will fly and perch onto the hand and then grip the note in it's beak. It was a good way to raise funds. 
We took pictures with these macaws after the show.

For lunch, our tour guide brought us to Khum Khantoke restaurant. 

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