11 July 2024

The Ubon Ratchathani Zoo has closed indefinitely, due to heavy flooding of surrounding and the main access to the zoo, but the animals there are not yet affected.

Attapon Srihayrun, director of the Zoological Park Organisation of Thailand, offered an assurance today (Thursday) that there are enough food supplies for the approximately 600 animals in the zoo for about a month.

He said that a sandbag wall had been erected to protect the zone in which all the animals are kept and displayed to the public, which is still safe from flooding. The main access to the zoo and the tourist service area are, however, submerged, making it inconvenient and possibly unsafe for visits by tourists.

He pointed out, though, that some of the hoofed animals may be at risk of infection, if they are exposed to the wet ground for a long time, even though their zone is not yet flooded.

To take care of the animals, he said that veterinarians from other zoos are already in Ubon Ratchathani to help those already there and additional food supplies have been delivered.

Meanwhile, the Royal Irrigation Department reported that people in Ubon Ratchathani may have to live with the flooding for another month, because the level of water in the Mun River remains high, as more continues to pour into the river from Si Sa Ket Province.

The water level in the river, measured at 6am today, was 11.51 metres, compared to 10.97 metres measured in 2019, when the province suffered its worst flooding in many years.

Although about 2,000m3/sec is being diverted away from Ubon Ratchathani, the Royal Irrigation Department said that the 5,000m3/sec of water is flowing into the river in the province.

To date, 19 districts in the province are flooded and more than 46,000 people have been affected, according to the provincial administration.

Many residents have complained that the daily briefing on the flood situation, by the provincial administration, is too slow and not up to date, as the real-time situation has already changed. They also said that they do not want to hear about promises of help, but would like authorities to drain water out of the province quickly.