The starting of Chiangmai Zoo was quite an interesting story. In 1952, Mr. Harold Mason Young, an American missionary started a private animal collection at his home in Chiangmai and open it to public as the very first private zoo in the country. Mr. Youngâ€™s growing animal collection began to be a nuisance to his neighbors, therefore he applied for a permission to use a piece of land on the foothill of Doi Suthep (now became part of Chiangmai University) to keep his animals and reopened his zoological park to public on April 6, 1957. Mr. Youngâ€™s zoo had been opened until he passed away. Later, City of Chiangmai realized that Mr. Youngâ€™s zoological park is important to the people of Chiangmai and adopted it under the cityâ€™s operation. In 1977, Chiangmai Zoo has been moved under ZPO administration and became the third government zoological park on 531 raii (210 acres) of foothill land.. Recently, Chiangmai zoo received a pair if giant panda from China and they have become the star of the zoo.
Billy, a 19 year old male elephant donated to Chiang Mai Zoo by the Khao Kheaw Open Zoo in Chonburi was introduced to 12 year old female elephant Chaiyo November 5 at the Chiang Mai Zoos new 10 million baht elephant enclosure. Officials hope that the two elephants will mate and produce a calf.
Tanapat Pongpamorn, Chiang Mai Zoos Director, and Nipon Wichairat, the assistant director for public relations, released the zoos newest member into the newly renovated elephant enclosure in a bid to increase the zoos elephant population. Officials also hope that this will disprove any rumors regarding the Zoos breeding practices with its elephants.