Port Lympne Wild Animal Park

One, Two, Three Litters of Puppies!

African Painted Pups at Port Lympne Reserve c Dave Rolfe1

Keepers at Great Britain’s Port Lympne Reserve are celebrating as not one but three litters of endangered African Painted Dog puppies make their public debut.

Mum and pup at Port Lympne Reserve c Dave Rolfe
African painted pups get their health checks at Port Lympne Reserve c Dave Rolfe
Photo Credit:  Dave Rolfe


The puppies, a mix of males and females, are now three months old and bring the number of African Painted Dogs at the reserve to 43, split between five packs.

Adrian Harland, Animal Director, explained that a recent health check showed that all the pups are strong and healthy.  Keepers administered vaccinations and weighed each pup.

African Painted Dogs are one of the most effective hunters in the world and will normally live in packs of 20 to 40 members. Found mainly in Southern Africa, experts estimate that as few as 3,000 African Painted Dogs remain in the wild.  Conflicts with humans encroaching on their habitat, illegal hunting, and risk of disease are all factors in their decline.

Breeding programs in zoos and reserves are important to the future of this unique species.

See more photos of the puppies below.

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Przewalski's Foal Takes First Steps at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park

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A new Przewalski's foal was born at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in England, helping to preserve a species that was once extinct in the wild. The male foal was born on October 26 and is the first to be born at Port Lympne in almost a decade.

Due to hunting and competition with livestock for water and pasture, Przewalski’s horses became extinct from Mongolia, their last refuge in the wild, in the 1970s. Through a cooperative captive-breeding program, the species has been bred in captivity and protected. After successful reintroductions to the wild, Przewalski’s Horses were listed by the ICUN as Critically Endangered, before being revised in 2011 to Endangered. The birth of a new foal at Port Lympne is therefore another vital step in continuing to protect this rare species. 

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5 horsePhoto credits: Dave Rolfe / Port Lympne Wild Animal Park

Bob Savill, head of hoofstock at the park, comments, “It is great to have a new Przewalski’s foal as we have previously repatriated Przewalski’s Horses via China and Mongolia, which we’re hoping to start up again soon.  He is doing remarkably well considering the weather!”

Przewalski’s Horses are adapted for survival in marginal habitats, particularly dry grassland, and they can survive on fibrous vegetation that has a low nutritional value. They are also extremely hardy, as they are adapted to withstand winter temperatures that are as low as 40 degrees below freezing. As Przewalski’s Horses have never been tamed for riding, they are the last truly wild horse in existence today.

Visitors can catch a glimpse of the new foal at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park as they ride on the 'African Experience' safari trucks. 


Mothers Day Comes Early: Baby Gorilla Born at Port Lympne

CU

A critically endangered Western Lowland Gorilla was born to mom Mumbe and dad Djala at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park during the early hours of February 26. This is the latest addition to the family group at the park. At this early stage it is too young for keepers to determine the sex.

Head Gorilla Keeper Phil Ridges said, "I am absolutely delighted to welcome this new arrival to our family group. Mumba and Djala are fantastic parents, very protective and caring and the little one is doing very well. Infants are vital to the survival of this critically endangered species and I always look forward to watching them grow and develop."

The Western Lowland Gorilla is critically endangered in the wild. Estimates range from 50,000 to 150,000 individuals remaining; however the true figure is very difficult to guage. It is estimated that if the number of western lowland gorilla continues to decline at the present rate the species may be extinct by 2020.

 2 Dave Rolfe

Photo Credit: Photo 1:Phil Houghton Photo 2: Dave Rolfe

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Newborn Colobus Infant Captures Keepers Hearts

Cuddle CU

Keepers at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park are in love with a week old baby Colobus Monkey – the latest addition to one of the black and white Colobus groups at the park. At this young age keepers are unable to tell whether it is male or female. Since Colobus are a social group, all the females in the troup, not just mom, will take responsibility for the little one's care, keeping it warmed, protected and nourished for at least the first few months of it's life. 

Adult black and white Colobus monkeys have striking black pelts with a white mantel and a long white tip to their tail. The young are born entirely white and their coloring will appear gradually as they mature. Their dramatic black and white pelts are still highly prized and hunting. That, along with deforestation across their natural habitat of equatorial Africa, has resulted in a decline of numbers.

Infant colobus c The Aspinall Foundation

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Photo Credit: Port Lympne/Aspinall Foundation

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It's Tapir Time!

Tapir 3(c)

Hoof stock keepers at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in the UK are delighted to announce the birth of an extremely rare Malayan tapir. The young male, named Manado, was born on January 12 to mother Malacca and father Hunter. This new arrival is the tenth successful tapir birth there, the first occurring in 1989. Now Port Lympne’s tapir house is home to two young male tapirs, as little Kejutan, born 4 months ago to mother Lidaeng, is growing fast. 

Head Hoof Stock Keeper Bob Savill is overjoyed, saying, “This is Malacca’s first calf and mother and baby are both doing well. This birth is fantastic news not only for the future of tapirs but for our hoof stock keepers too – it is very special that we have two babies in the same house, at the same time.”

Malayan tapirs are born after a gestation period of approximately 13 months and are black in color with white spots and stripes. As they reach maturity the distinctive black and white coloring comes through, this coloring is supposed to give excellent coverage in moonlit forests. Tapirs are most active at night.

Malayan tapirs are endangered in the wild due to the destruction of their rainforest to make way for palm oil plantations and from increased hunting. You can help protect endangered species like Malayan tapirs by visiting The Aspinall Foundation’s Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks or adopting a tapir. For more information please go to www.aspinallfoundation.org.

Tapir 2(c)

Tapir 1

Photo Credit: Port Lympne Wild Animal Park/The Aspinall Foundation


Fall Arrival: One Tawny Waterbuck Baby

Water solo

Keepers at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in England were delighted with a new arrival to their herd this month – a baby waterbuck!

The Defassa waterbuck is a large, robust antelope with a long-haired, often shaggy brown/grey coat. Despite its name the Waterbuck is not really aquatic but often takes refuge from predators in water and swamps. Waterbuck give birth to a single calf after a gestation period of 9 months. The calves may be born at any time of year, but calving peaks occur in the summer. 

Head Hoofstock Keeper Bob Savill said, "It’s a credit to captive breeding programs like ours when herds can be introduced to protected areas – It proves how important these births are for the continuation of this species and others."

Wmum

Solo tail

Buck and bro
Photo Credit: Dave Rolfe


Baby Meerkat Mania!

Meerkat-babies-4-(c)-Sam-Harwood---please-credit-when-used

Keepers at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park near Ashford, United Kingdom, were delighted when they spotted that Tiggs, the matriarch of the Meerkat group at the wild animal park, was once again expecting. Tiggs had her first litter of three in April this year and on the June 28th keepers excitedly welcomed the latest additions to Tiggs’ growing ‘mob’.

Head Keeper Richard Barnes said: “I am delighted that Tiggs is such a good mum – I hand reared her when she was a kitten due to an illness, she recovered well and became strong and healthy and has now given birth to two healthy litters. The newborns are already playful and it’s hilarious to watch them teasing their siblings.”

Meerkat-babies-1-(c)-Sam-Harwood---please-credit-when-used

Meerkat-babies-3-(c)-Sam-Harwood---please-credit-when-used

Meerkat-babies-2---(c)-Sam-Harwood---please-credit-when-used
Photo credits: Port Lympne Wild Animal Park

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