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Tea Leaves

Politics of Thai zoology

Closure of Bangkok's Dusit Zoo highlights state of Thai democracy

Mali, a 51-year-old hippo, is one of the star attractions of Bangkok's Dusit Zoo. (Photo by Duncan McCargo)

When I turned up at Bangkok's Dusit Zoo on a recent Friday, the ticket clerk let me in at the "Thai price" of 100 baht ($3), instead of the 150 baht that foreigners usually pay. Perhaps this was because I spoke to her in Thai, or maybe it was because the zoo is about to close its gates for the last time, just months after celebrating its 80th anniversary.

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