Kent, 14 June 2023: Howletts Wild Animal Park near Canterbury, on June 14th, officially marked the birth of its 150th baby gorilla, further cementing their status as the leading breeder of this precious species.
The young male, named Kumbi, was born in July 2022 and has spent the past few months forging a strong bond with his family and keepers. The increasingly confident baby gorilla can be seen in the gorilla enclosure alongside his family troop.
Keepers and staff at Howletts Wild Animal Park, in the UK, have been celebrating the birth of a delightful female Black Rhino.
The tiny calf, born on October 16, has been bonding with her mother in their heated stable, whilst the dedicated keeper team monitors her progress.
Animal Director, Neil Spooner said, “We are absolutely thrilled. She’s delightful, and both calf and mum, Salome, are doing well. This latest arrival signifies real hope for the future of this critically endangered species.”
The young calf, born to first time mother, Salome, has yet to be named. Keepers are so pleased with her progress that they have released CCTV footage of her birth and first steps. The team is confident that mum and baby will be ready to explore the outside exhibit very soon.
Jonathan Usher Smith, Head of Hoofstock Section added, “The footage of the calf taking her first steps is wonderful! As you can see, she is a little wobbly but that is to be expected just hours after birth. After only a week, she is already getting stronger and more confident – we’ve even seen her copying her mother and trying to eat browse – although she won’t be ready for solid food for quite some time yet.”
Photo Credits: Howletts Wild Animal Park/ Aspinall Foundation
The Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) is currently classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Numbers in the wild have been decimated at the hands of poachers, who sell Rhino horn to the Asian market (where it is believed to have medicinal properties).
The Aspinall Foundation*, a leading conservation charity, working with Howletts and sister park Port Lympne, has been working to protect the Black Rhino since 1971. The foundation has returned Black Rhinos, born at Port Lympne Reserve, to protected areas in Africa, in the hope of saving the species. This summer, two of the returned Rhinos successfully gave birth in Africa---a testament to the success of the charity’s ‘Back To The Wild’ initiative.
Howletts latest arrival, firmly cements the conservation charity’s reputation as being the most successful breeder of Black Rhinos in the UK, with a total of 37 births to date.
*The Aspinall Foundation manages conservation projects in Congo, Gabon, Indonesia and Madagascar, as well as providing financial support to various partner projects around the world. The conservation charity’s important work helps prevent some of the most endangered species on the planet from becoming extinct.
Keepers at Howletts Wild Animal Park are celebrating the birth of an adorable baby Elephant. Born just over a week ago, the calf and her mother Tammi are both reported to be doing well.
Damian Aspinall, Chairman of The Aspinall Foundation, the conservation charity that works closely with Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks, tweeted pictures of the female calf, just hours after birth and said: ‘Had our 22ndele birth at Howletts today. Prob a little girl. Only 33 born in UK total, so very happy.’
The calf brings the herd number at the wild animal park, near Canterbury to 13 and cements the park’s reputation for being one of the most successful breeders of African Elephants in Europe .
Damian also tweeted: ‘Amazing to think 2 out of 3 eles born in UK are born here at Howletts.’
Howletts cares for the largest herd of African Elephants in the UK including bull Elephant Jums who stands at over 11 feet tall and weighs around 6100kg, a stark contrast to the tiny new arrival. Father to 18 offspring, Jums is now 37 years old.
Natalie Boyd, Head of Elephant Section said: ‘We are delighted to welcome our newest member of the herd after a 21 ½ month wait, and are especially pleased with the range of natural behaviours shown by our elephants, who were all present. Many other females, including all Tammi’s extended family assisted in getting the calf to her feet within minutes and encouraging her to suckle. This is Tammi’s fifth baby and she is, once again, proving to be an excellent mother, and this time is assisted by Jara, Uzuri and even little four year old Manzi.’
Dholes, also known as Asiatic Wild Dogs, typically have litters of four to ten pups. “To have a litter of 12 healthy and active pups is quite unusual,” said Ben Warren, head of the park’s Carnivore Section. “The pups are getting really confident now and love playing around and annoying the adults, they’re really entertaining to watch.”
Dholes typically live in large packs. Once weaned, the pups are cared for and fed by the entire pack. Packs work together to take down large deer, wild boar, and cattle. Unlike other pack hunters, like wolves, who allow the dominant adults to feed first at a kill, Dholes give priority to pups. Nursing females and their young are fed regurgitated food by other members of the pack.
Dholes have an unusual and varied vocal range, and communicate using a series of squeaks, whistles, and barks.
Once found in most of Southern and eastern Asia, Dholes now live only in parts of India, Tibet, Bhutan, and extreme southeast Asia due to illegal hunting and habitat loss. Dholes are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Joel Bunce, head of the zoo’s
hoofstock section, said: “We were delighted with this latest arrival. It’s been
a long time since we had a Giant Anteater birth and this little one is getting
on really well.”
The baby was born to female Fidgi
and male Zet. According to zoo keepers,
both are providing excellent care to their newborn.
Giant Anteaters are native to South
America and females normally give birth to one baby at a time, after a
gestation period of 190 days. Young are carried on their mother’s back and
they may stay with their mothers for up to two years. Giant Anteaters are listed as Vulnerable by
the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Though their range extends from Honduras to
Argentina, they are extirpated (regionally extinct) in some countries due to
overhunting and habitat loss.
This past February, Howletts Wild Animal Park in the United Kingdom received the latest member of its family, a healthy male baby Brazilian Tapir. The little boy, who has been named Inca, spent the first few months of his life indoors and off exhibit due to the cold weather. He spent his time inside with the warmth of shelter, and the comfort of his mother.
To help make sure that his indoor enclosure stayed warm enough, a local plastic and insulation company, PAR Group, donated a special plastic door curtain to help with insulation. "Our latest baby Tapir has been born during the really cold weather, but thanks to the generosity of the PAR Group they are snug and warm inside their shelter with the plastic door strips on the entrance," said Animal Director Neil Spooner.
Photo Credits: Dave Rolfe / Howletts Wild Animal Park
Now that the weather has begun to warm up, Inca has begun to explore his exhibit for visitors to see. "The little fella is doing really well and mum is keeping a close eye on him. Now that the weather is showing some signs of becoming milder, visitors should be able to spot them more easily, as they explore their paddock," explained Joel Bunce, the head of animal park's hoofstock section.
Howletts Wild Animal Park has officially welcomed a bright new addition to their Javan Langur Monkey group. These are the first pictures of the adorable apricot infant, born last month and named Malang. Head Primate Keeper Matt Ford said: "Malang is doing very well and it’s great to see her out and about with the family group."
Javan Langurs are listed as a vulnerable species on the IUCN Red list of endangered species and they face the same threats as other primates in Asia, including loss of habitat and hunting. The brightly colored primates are not often seen in wild animal parks but Howletts and Port Lympne are collectively home to over 50 individuals. Animal Director, Neil Spooner said: ‘We have one of the largest collections of Javan Langurs outside Indonesia and have had over 100 births since the early 1980’s. Our Javan Primate Project just outside MaIang, Indonesia launched at the end of last year. The conservation project is rescuing primates from the illegal pet trade and rehabilitating them, so that they can be reintroduced to areas of the wild that we protect – Malang is a very fitting name for our latest langur birth."
Photo Credit: Dave Rolfe/Howletts Wild Animal Park
Read more about the Langur's coloring below the jump:
Primate keepers at Howletts Wild Animal Park near Canterbury have welcomed a very special new arrival to their family of Grizzled Leaf Monkeys. The baby was born on February 14 to mom Juleha and has been named Asmara by her doting keepers. Asmara's birth makes her the twentieth baby to join the family at Howletts - home to the only group of Grizzled Leaf monkeys in human care outside their native land of Java.
Head Primate Keeper Matt Ford said, "We are delighted with this new arrival; Mum and baby are doing very well. This new birth provides hope for the survival of these endangered primates in captivity."
Grizzled Leaf monkeys are native to Java and live in primary and secondary rainforest, although drastic deforestation in the area has lead to destruction of their habitat, forcing them to live in forest fragments at higher altitude. Matt added "Deforestation has resulted in habitat loss for the Grizzled Leaf Monkey – only 4% of their original forest habitat remains on the island of Java."
Photo Credit: Dave Rolfe
Read more about the Aspinall Foundation's work with the grizzled green leaf monkey after the jump.
Keepers at Howletts Wild Animal Park near Canterbury, England are celebrating the birth of a Brazilian Tapir. Born just a week ago, on the 27th October, the infant - who is yet to be named, is already venturing out into his enclosure whilst his mother, Corumba, keeps a close eye on him.
Joel Bunce Head Hoofstock Keeper at the park is delighted with the new addition: ‘This is Corumba’s first calf so I was expecting both of them to be quite cautious, however the little chap is already exploring his enclosure and Corumba has taken to motherhood very well.’
Gorilla keepers at Howletts Wild Animal Park near Canterbury were delighted when another baby Gorilla was born on August 15. This is the fifth baby for mom Tamba, who is part of the Gorilla group headed by silverback Kouillou.
Neil Spooner, Animal Director at Howletts, said “Tamba and Kouillou are excellent parents and I’m so pleased that we have another addition to their family group”. The birth of this little one brings the total number of successful gorilla births between Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks to an impressive 131!
Tamba will hold her baby until it is about two months old, after which it will be able to ride on her back clinging to her fur. The baby will be dependent on Tamba for three or four years as it learns from her and the family how to find food, socialize, make nests and raise young. Gorillas breed very slowly. Females first breed when they are about 10 years old and give birth to a single infant every four to five years. Newborn gorillas are very small, weighing about 4-5 pounds (2kg), and are dependent on their mothers much like a human child.