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Howletts Wild Animal Park
Date opened 1974
Location Canterbury, Kent, England
Land area 90 acres (36 ha)
Number of animals 350+
Number of species 40+
African elephants at Howletts

Howletts Wild Animal Park (formerly known as Howletts Zoo) was set up as a private zoo in 1957 by John Aspinall near Canterbury, Kent. The animal collection was opened to the public in 1975. To give more room for the animals another estate at Port Lympne near Hythe, Kent was purchased in 1973, and opened to the public as Port Lympne Zoo in 1976.

The collection is known for being unorthodox, for the encouragement of close personal relationships between staff and animals, and for their breeding of rare and endangered species. Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin visited the park in 2004 and said the following about his visit - "I love this joint and I love these gorillas – they’re the finest in the world." [1].

Since 1984 both parks have been owned by a charity (The John Aspinall Foundation). Following the death of John Aspinall he was buried in front of the mansion house and a memorial was built next to the grave near the bison. The most recent extension to Howletts was the Black and White Colobus open-topped enclosure, just behind the entrance.


Animal collection

The 90-acre (36 ha) park has a large collection of 53 western lowland gorillas and are home to the largest breeding family groups of gorillas in the world. 1) England, 2) USA., 3) Germany, 4) Japan. There are 14 elephants, the largest captive breeding herd in the UK. The Lion Tailed Macaques are also one of the biggest groups in the world.

Other species include Asiatic Wild Dog, Axis Deer, Banded Leaf Monkey, Black and white Colobus Monkey, Black and White Ruffed Lemur, Black Rhinoceros, Blackbuck, Bongo, Brazilian Tapir, Canadian Timber Wolf, Capybara, Caracal, Clouded Leopard, De Brazza's Monkey, Dusky Langur, European Bison, Fishing Cat, Giant Anteater, Greater Kudu, Grizzled Leaf Monkey, Hog Deer, Honey Badger, Iberian Wolf, Indian Tiger, Javan Langur, Jungle Cat, Lesser Spot-nosed Monkey, Lynx, Malayan Tapir, Moloch Gibbon, Nilgai, Ocelot, Pallas Cat, Red River Hog, Serval, Siamang Gibbon, Siberian Tiger, Snow Leopard, Sumatran Tiger, Tamandua, White-faced Saki.

Special Events (Charity)

The charity that runs Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Park the John Aspinall Foundation, also runs animal conservation programmes. It has recent success in releasing a black Rhino into the wild and has previously released other black rhinos and gorillas.


Siberian tiger at Howletts

Port Lympne has featured on the television programme Roar. This shows the two parks, the life of the animals and how the keepers look after them. The first series was filmed in 2006 and as of March 2009 there have been four series in total.


External links

See also

Port Lympne Wild Animal Park

Coordinates: 51°16′N 1°9′E / 51.267°N 1.15°E / 51.267; 1.15



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